Etim wins WESPAC trials as 20 players qualify for Las Vegas 2023 world tourney
Nsikak-Abasi Solomon Etim has won the World English Scrabble Players Association Championship (WESPAC) qualifiers, which ended in Sapele, Delta State, at the weekend.
Etim, whose win makes him new national champion, will lead Team Nigeria’s squad to the forthcoming WESPAC World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., in July.
The former African champion, who gained entrance into the qualifiers through one of the six NSF wildcards, won 24 games out of 30 to win the qualifiers.
Etim’s run in the qualifiers was also historic as he won 12 games in a row and took the crown with four games to spare.
Speaking after the event, Etim said he worked hard to achieve the victory, having contested with top Nigerian scrabble stars in the qualifiers.
“It was God’s doing and I saw it coming because the grace was just too much, and we are taking that grace to Las Vegas in July.
“We will bring the trophy back home, as it is long overdue. Since 2015, the trophy has stayed away for too long and we are bringing it back home,” he said.
According to Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), five players, who will enjoy NSF sponsorship for the World Championship, are former world champion, Wellington Jighere; two time African champion and head coach of Delta State Scrabble Association (DSSA), Dennis Ikekeregor; West Africa University Games champion, Oluwatimilehin Doko; current African champion and West Africa Scrabble Championship runners-up, Enoch Nwali; as well as Africa’s number one women player, Tuoyo Mayuku.
The other players, who could get sponsorship from corporate bodies to participate in the World Championship, are Eta Karo, Wale Fashina, Prince Omosefe, Olatunde Oduwole, Emmanuel Umujose, Precious Igali, Ben Quickpen, Cyril Umebiye, Ezinora George, Jimoh Abdulmumin, Oshevire Avwenagha, Anthony Odok, Emmanuel Ofidi, Joseph Aniso, James Ewruje, Noble Onoshevwe, John Curtis and Bright Idahosa.
At the end of the qualifiers, Ikekeregor came second, while former world champion, Wellington Jighere, was third.
The NSF disclosed that the Federal Government, through the Sports Ministry, would also back Team Nigeria to the World Cup.