Ekiti tops medals table at 11th Aso Table Tennis championship
EKITI State at the weekend emerged over all winners of the 11th Aso Table Tennis Championship with three gold, one silver and one bronze, held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium.
Taraba State came second with two gold, two silver and one bronze while the third place went to Ondo State with two gold, one silver and one bronze medals.
In the final of the Men’s Singles, Nigeria’s number six and tournament’s second seed, Italy-based Ojo Onaolapo overpowered Taraba’s Seun Ajetunmobi 4-3 to win the title while Bose Odunsanya of Lagos State defeated Cross River’s Utoro Akpan by 4-2 in Women’s Single final.
Taraba State beat Rivers 3-2 in the Men Double event, while their girls repeated the same feat by clinching the Women’s Double through the pair of Funmi Ajala and Husein who defeated Oyo State’s Rashidat Yusuf and Fatimoh Yusuff 3-2.
In the Cadet Boys Singles, Ekiti’s Animashaun Abayomi humbled his teammate, Martins Abayomi, 3-2 to claim victory. Speaking with The Guardian on the success achieved by the Ekiti contingent, the team coach, Olubode Ajayi, said: “My players were very impressive and that was why they won the highest number of medals at the championship and this has made me and the state proud.
They actually lived up to expectation. The standard of the game has risen up with some superb skills displayed by my players in all the categories.
“I will sincerely give kudos to the organisers and the sponsors. I believe the Nigerian players will soon catch up with the Chinese and other world powers in the game if this kind of competition where free accommodation and free feeding were provided for all the participants comes up at least thrice a year.”
On his assessment of his team showing at the championship, Taraba State team coach, Kunle Jariode, said: “My boys and girls tried their best.
I want to give kudos to G-20 Club chairman. His support and encouragement have been our livewire. Without him, Taraba’s team would not have performed the way they did, at least coming second in the over all table is no mean feat.”
This year’s Aso Table Tennis championship that witnessed 25 states participation, is aimed at re-awakening the game in Nigeria, with the purpose of discovering talents that would represent Nigeria at international events.