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How sponsorship prompted Jinadu win U-18 win


AFTER his victory at the just concluded Oceanic Bank-Lagos State Tennis Association U-18 Tennis tournament held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, where he defeated arch-rival Umoru Balami 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), Owolabi Jinadu has revealed that the fear of losing out on sponsorship propelled him to victory.

Jinadu, who was outclassed by Balami at the finals of the Sony Erickson Junior Open Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club last year, told The Guardian that he had looked forward to a revenge since and that the victory last weekend was a dream come through for him.

“After Umuro defeated me at the Sony Erickson tournament last year, I felt so bad but an older friend of mine kept encouraging me not to allow the defeat to discourage me. (He urged me) to just continue doing my best, that one day I will surely win and today, I thank God that it has come to pass,” he said.

“When I learnt that Umoru would play in this competition, I said to myself that if I met him in the finals I must win because my sponsor, Tochukwu Agadinuno, had told me that if I failed to win, I should never come to him for anything again.”

On his way to the top, the senior class three student of Gbagada Senior Grammar School defeated Adebayo Ismaila 6-1, 6-0 to move to the second round. He further defeated Rasak Kazeem 6-1, 6-0 to move to the quarter-final, where he defeated Badmus Abdulkarim 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) and spanked Adelakun Ebenezer 7-6(3) 7-6(5) to hit the final. He also paired with Ebenezer to defeat the pair of Balami and Lekan Fatus to win the doubles event.

For emerging champion, Jinadu smiled home with N50,000, a Dunlop racket and a pair of Nike tennis shoes, while Balami got N30,000. In the girls singles category, Akosile Afolarin emerged champion and got N25,000, while runner-up Deborah Lasoju went home with N15, 000.

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