Evidently the love for Table Tennis is on the rise in Nigeria as the annual ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open attracts a greater diversity in the ages of the players. The participation of the Mustapha brothers who hail from Borno State, have been a big attraction in the first day at the Nigeria Open 2018.
Mustapha Mustapha, 10, and his brother Musa, 9, showed courage as they played at their first international tournament on Wednesday in the U-21 men’s singles. Despite losing to their older opponents in both their two group matches, the duo seemed not perturb as they look forward to a better performance in future events.
Mustapha, whose role model is Germany’s Timo Boll, said: “We began playing table tennis in 2017 and have played in a few other tournaments but the Nigeria Open is our first international tournament. We have learned a lot from playing against more experienced players.”
The younger Musa, whose role model is Japan’s Harimoto Tamokazu, declared confidently: “I will win the Nigeria Open in future.”
Mustapha lost to Nigeria’s Augustine Emmanuel 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 in the first group game and to Wang Xinyang of China in the second. Musa lost to Tobi Falana 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 in his first group game before falling to Wael Ziad of Egypt in his second game.
The experience gotten from the Nigeria Open 2018 will help the Mustapha brothers’ confidence as they continue their table tennis journey.