Teenage prodigy steals show at Calabar Table Tennis Open Championship
Eight-year-old Bright Joel Udoh of Prison Primary School, Calabar was the cynosure of all eyes at the grand finale of the NTTF-sanctioned maiden Calabar Open Schools Table Tennis Championship following his exploits in the cadet event of the three-day tournament held at Hope Waddel Training Institute Calabar.
Despite his physical size, Udoh was all over the place in the final game against Victor Ogar of De-Montes Primary School as he showed skills that elicited applause from the dignitaries and fans at the venue.
Udoh was so dominant that Cross River Coach, Richard Edem, decided there and then to groom the player to be a world-beater.
Over 103 primary and secondary schools in Cross River competed at the N200, 000 prize money championship.
The first four winners in Secondary School category and first four in primary school category got prize monies for their efforts, while the Managing Director of First Micro Finance Bank Ltd, Mrs. Ima Onoko, has confirmed that they have opened savings accounts for 18 primary school and 18 secondary school students of both sexes, who participated and performed well at the tournament.
Orok Duke, chairman of the state sports council also announced that the winners would represent the state at the South-South table tennis championship, and that they would do all possible to activate and encourage the children to develop interest in sports.
Aside Udoh, other winners in the Primary School Girls Single were Glory Joshua of PCN Akim, who got the gold medal, Precious Uduak of Bishop King School, silver and Bread Bassey of PCN Akim, bronze.
Speaking at the event, General Manager of the Royal International Farms and Estates Ltd, Usen Umoh, said he was pleased at the tremendous success recorded at the inaugural event, assuring that they would continue to sponsor Table Tennis and Taekwondo championships in order to revamp sports in the state.