Nigeria will come up against players from about five other African countries for glory as the 2nd PUMA Engineering Wheelchair Open holds from 29 October to 2 November, in Abuja.
Nigeria’s head coach, Frank Tarmena, informed that Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Tanzania and Zambia have all indicated their readiness to participate in the point-winning tournament sponsored by Former Nigeria Tennis Federation boss, Engr. Sani Ndanusa.
The tournament which is a hard-court event on the ITF Future Series, will feature participants across Africa in the men’s and women’s singles categories, as well as the men’s and women’s doubles, all jostling for a share of the $3,500 in prize money as well as valuable points to aid their attending international tournaments, Nigeria Tennis Live gathered.
In the last edition, Nigeria’s Alex Adewale and Kafayat Omisore were the cynosure of all eyes as they won the top prizes in the singles events while the country also scooped the doubles titles.
Tarmena, who is also an ITF regional developmental instructor for West and Central Africa, expressed confidence in Nigeria posting another memorable outing.
He explained further that the competition will help serve as a good build up for the upcoming Para African Games slated for January 2020 in Morocco.
“The gap between us and South Africa and a few northern African countries that are leading on the continent is not much.
“The Puma Engineering tournament is coming at the right time because it would be like a test run of what we will be facing in the Para Africa Games and I’m convinced the hunger and determination to succeed will drive us to the top.
“Within a few years into the sport, our players have qualified and featured in the Paralympics and I could recall on our debut in Beijing 2008, Wasiu Yusuf gave the world no 7 a good challenge, playing on an outdated wheelchair.
“It was the talk of the town and it was a similar experience in London where Alex also making his debut, puts up a spirited performance,” Coach Termena noted.