More than three decades after taking part in the annual Asoju Oba Cup Molade Okoya-Thomas, former Nigerian international Atanda Musa will return in the grand final of the 53rd edition of Africa’s oldest table tennis tournament tonight at Teslim Balogun stadium.
Musa, based in the United States, will not take part in the competition but will be the special guest of the tournament which heralded its emergence in the 1980s.
Musa, whose rivalry with the late Yomi Bankole drew many fans to the tournament at the popular Rowe Park Sports Center in Yaba, is expected to make a cameo appearance against some of the upcoming players in the 53rd edition final.
The Asoju Oba Cup, which started in 1968 as an annual competition funded by the late Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas in commemoration of his installation as Asoju Oba of Lagos by the late King of Lagos, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan produced many big stars including Musa for the country.
According to the president of the Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSSTA), Tunji Lawal, Musa’s presence would surely inspire the competing athletes as he is expected to team up with the former champion of the Commonwealth to develop sport in Lagos.
Already, some winners have been named in the doubles and para events while the winners of the singles events will be known in the final.
âWe are delighted that the Okoya-Thomas family has retained their confidence in sponsoring the championships, which has also helped us keep our players in top shape for major events. We hope to build on this in the hopes of continuing to attract more sponsors for table tennis to Lagos as we hope to be able to produce the next sporting superstars just like Atanda Musa, âLawal said.