Portugal-based Ojo Onaolapo and three other Nigerian players have been handed their opponents in the preliminary stage of the first ITTF World Tour in 2017 – Hungarian Open, as the tournament serves off on Tuesday January 17 in Budapest.
In the draw conducted at the weekend, Onaolapo has been handed a tough draw as he is expected to battle Hong Kong’s Tianyi jiang and Italy’s Matteo Mutti in Group 17 for a place in the main draw.
Also, Portugal-based Bode Abiodun is in Group 61 where he will face France’s Andrea Landrieu and Slovakia’s Jakub Figel.
Kazeem Makanjuola is in Group 1 alongside England’s Liam Pitchford and Belarus’ Gleb Shamruk, while Olajide Omotayo will take on Russia’s Fedor Kuzmin and Belarus’ Aliaksandr Khanin.
Just like they are aiming for places in the main draw of the singles event, the Nigerian quartet will be competing in the preliminary stage of the men’s doubles event of the $70,000 prize money tournament.
Unlike his compatriots, Aruna Quadri and his doubles partner, Egypt’s Omar Assar who have made the 16-man seeding list of the championship.
In the list of seeded players, Aruna Quadri is rated number eight while Omar Assar is seeded number 15 and they are expected to start their campaigns in the main draw of the men’s singles event of the championship from Thursday January 19.
The tournament serves as one of the qualifiers for the end-of-year World Tour Grand Finals as players are expected to garner points for their qualification for Grand Finals as well as their world ranking.