Italy-based Olajide Omotayo will lead two other Nigerians to the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open which serves off on Tuesday October 31 in
Former international, Kazeem Nosiru and Dotun Aiyelumo will also begin their campaigns in the group stage of the men’s singles of the tournament.
Omotayo has been drawn in Group two alongside Chinese Taipei’s SUN Chia-Hung and Germany’s HOHMEIER Nils.
Also, Nosiru will battle Austria’s CHEN Alexander and Iran’s WAHID Habibie in group 24 while Aiyelumo will slug it out with Russia’s IVONIN Denis and Netherlands’ OOSTWOUDER Ewout in group 37.
The top player in each group is expected to advance to the knockout stage of the men’s singles. Other African teams on duty are Algeria and Egypt.
In the men’s doubles, Omotayo will partner Romania’s CAZACU Alexandru, while Nosiru and Aiyelumo will team up as well from the preliminary round of the event.
Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia is the top seed followed by Germany’s Ricardo Walther and Sharath Kamal Achanta, also from India. In 2010 Tiago Apolonia won in Austria, Sharath Kamal Achanta in Egypt; four years later Ricardo Walther succeeded in Croatia.
Additionally, further down the list, Korea’s Kim Donghyun won in 2015 in Bulgaria; in 2012 Russia’s Vasily Lakeev succeeded in both Belarus and Egypt. In De Haan, Kim Donghyun is the no.8 seed, Vasily Lakeev, the no.15 seed.
Recapturing form of bygone days is very much the task for Kim Donghyun and Vasily Lakeev; for three notable names who appear high in the order of merit it is a question of maintaining present form.
Benedikt Duda, ever more competitive on the international scene in the no.4 seed in the Men’s Singles event; he is followed immediately by German compatriot Patrick Franziska and Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic. Both Patrick Franziska and Bojan Tokic were outstanding at the recent Liebherr 2017 European Team Championships as Germany secured gold and Slovenia an unprecedented bronze.
Likewise prominent Men’s Singles names are also very much in evidence in the Men’s Doubles competition, an event in which Belgium has high hopes.
The winner earlier this year on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour in Qatar, he is the top seed; next in line is Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, followed by Russia’s Sadi Ismailov; Ng Pak Nam, also from Hong Kong completes the top four names.