Quadri Aruna will be the headline star among Nigerian players who will face off against other top stars from the world, including world No.8, Hugo Calderano of Brazil, as they battle for the $80,000 prize money at the World Table Tennis Contender Lagos, which holds from June 19 to 23, Punch Sports Extra reports.

In a statement on the WTT website on Monday, the organisers confirmed the 35-year-old is scheduled to make his first Contender Series appearance on home soil next month as competition will be held in Lagos for the second consecutive year in place of the now-retired ITTF Nigeria Open.

Aruna, who recently reclaimed the ITTF Africa Cup in Kigali, withdrew from the previous edition due to an engagement with Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg, his former club, in the Russian table tennis league.

Another notable Nigerian in the men’s single is world No.96, Omotayo Olajide, who also just sealed a place at the Paris Olympics.

Last year’s finallist and world No.14, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, is set to make a return to Lagos after his showing in 2023. It will be a return that brings a bitter-sweet taste, with Ovtcharov going down in the final of the event last year, losing out on the title to Zhou Qihao.

Offiong Edem (110), Fatima Bello (129), Hope Udoaka (175) and Ajoke Ojomu (219) are the top Nigerian stars in the women’s singles, which also has world No.7 and defending champion Shin Yubin competing.

At least 28 Nigerian players are expected to compete in the series at the Molade-Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall in Lagos.

The tournament will also give a boost of 400 ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking points for the champions.