In 2018, Abidjan welcomed the world with the staging of the ITTF World Junior Circuit followed by the African Junior and Cadet Championship with the sole aim of growing the sport as well as exposes its players to world class tournament.

As a follow up to this, the West African nation will be staging an international competition tagged Abidjan International Open for senior players at a two-day tournament scheduled for December 14 to 15.

According to the Secretary General of the Federation of Ivorian Table Tennis (FITT), Thiery Kouadjo, the prestigious multipurpose hall of the Palace of Sports of Treichville, which hosted the 2017 Francophone Games 2017, will host the tournament.

“The purpose of this tournament is for Ivorian table tennis players to participate in international dimension of competition in the Ivory Coast,” he said.

With a target of 10 countries, Thiery Kouadjo said: “For the first edition, our goal is to accommodate at least 10 countries. We have received registration of players from France, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Congo Brazzaville with prize money of $3,000.”

He added: “The objective is to ensure that the second edition scheduled to be approved in 2019 and reflected in the calendar of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Ivory Coast plans to organize every year this international tournament, which will extend to major table tennis nations. There is no particular criterion to invite the players as the tournament is open to all players. All those interested can contact the Ivorian Federation of Table Tennis. They will receive an invitation for them to travel to Abidjan.”

For 2018, Thiery Kouadjo said France’s Abdel-Kader Salifou has confirmed his participation as the number one seed in the men’s singles.