The best of table tennis was on display at the weekend at the maiden Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships as Sola Oyetayo rallied from 0-3 down to stun Azeez Jamiu, to claim the men’s singles title.
The colourful final was well-attended by dignitaries across the country include Director, Grassroots Sports of Ministry of Youth and Sports, Demola Are as well as proprietor of Nath FC of Lagos, Yemi Idowu, and to their expectations, the tournament lived up to its billing.
From the outcome of the men’s singles final, it was obvious that the country is blessed with abundant talents, while the comeback of the Sola Oyetayo was the climax of the championship.
From the start of the encounter, it was as if Azeez Jamiu was in the driver seat racing to a 3-0 lead. But a sheer determination coupled with his calmness became the joker for Oyetayo, as the player rallied from 0-3 down to win at 4-3 to the admiration of the fans and dignitaries who enjoyed every moment of the encounter.
Member of the female national team, Cecilia Otu-Akpan displayed her skill against Fatimo Bello as the Cross River-based star defeated the Lagos’ Bello 4-0 to claim the women singles titles.
For her feat in junior and senior events, Ajoke Ojomu was adjudged the most valuable female player of the competition with cash reward to show for her efforts.
Ojomu, a member of Abuja-based G20 team claimed the women and junior girls’ team titles at the five-day tournament held at the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium.
According to the Tournament Director, John Peters, the tournament would surely help members of the Nigeria junior team going to the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championships holding in South Africa later this month.
“The championships served as a final training session for our South Africa- bound junior players. Happily, the young lads and lasses lived up to expectations. They not only won several prizes, but also won awards as the players of the championships in both female and male categories. The organisation was super and praise worthy. I wish our ambassadors to the ITTF Junior World championships a good outing.
I must also give kudos to the NTTF President, Wahid Oshodi for rallying his friends to sponsor the competition. I call on al lovers of table tennis in Nigeria to support him to ensure that there are top performing players to succeed the Toriolas, the Oshonnaikes and the Arunas when they retire,” Peters said.