German star Ovtcharov eyes first title in Africa at WTT Contender Lagos

Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the esteemed German table tennis champion, is poised to grace Nigeria with his presence for the second time. Despite not securing the men’s singles crown at the inaugural WTT Contender Lagos in 2023, Ovtcharov, ranked 14th globally, is determined to triumph in the upcoming 2024 tournament. The event is scheduled to unfold from June 19 to 23 at the esteemed Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall within the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

In 2023, Ovtcharov honored his commitment to the Lagos enthusiasts by donating an array of table tennis gear to the nation’s youth. Buoyed by the overwhelming support during his initial visit, he aspires to claim the title this year, bolstered by the fervent backing of the Lagos crowd.

Ovtcharov, a former world number one, boasts an illustrious Olympic career, adorned with two silver and four bronze medals since his debut at the 2008 Beijing Games. His accolades render him one of the most decorated Olympians in the male table tennis division.

His innovative serve techniques have not gone unnoticed, earning him a spot in Time magazine’s top 50 breakthroughs of 2008.

Last year, with the robust encouragement of Lagos’s fans, Ovtcharov battled through to the finals, where he encountered China’s Zhou Qihao. The clash with Qihao was nothing short of spectacular, captivating the packed venue with the intensity of a grand finale.

Qihao emerged victorious with a 4-1 scoreline against Ovtcharov. The Chinese maestro clinched the first three sets with commanding leads, but the German stalwart managed to secure a set in his favor. However, Qihao sealed the deal in the fifth set, dashing Ovtcharov’s hopes for his inaugural WTT title on African soil.

This year, Ovtcharov returns, among the elite contenders, to Lagos with aspirations of capturing his maiden WTT championship in Africa.

The tournament organizers have already announced a stellar lineup of participants from across the globe, including China, South Korea, India, Denmark, Brazil, Spain, Benin Republic, Ghana, Algeria, and Egypt. They will compete over five days for the grand prize of $80,000.

Source : WTT Media

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