Umeh, Fashola win table tennis championship
Amadi Umeh showed why he is currently the country’s best home-based player, at the weekend, when he defeated hard-fighting Rilwan Akanbi to win the Third Quadri Aruna Open Table Tennis Championship.
In the women category, Aminat Fashola beat Sukurat Ayelabegan to take the title at the event in Lagos.
The five-day tournament was organised by Aruna Sports and Academy in collaboration with Eko Club and Olusoga Odunayo Adesanya Foundation with over 300 players from across the country fightingfor the N5million prize money.
Held at the Eko Club in Surulere, Lagos, the final had all the elements of a grand festival as Umeh showed class against fans’ favourite, Akanbi, to emerge as the new men’s singles champion.
Despite not getting enough support from the Lagos fans, Umeh had in the semifinal beaten 2022 champion, Muiz Adegoke, before setting up a final clash against homeboy Akanbi.
Before the epic final between Umeh and Akanbi, Fashola’s change of tactics against defensive Ayelabegan was all she needed to win the women’s singles title at 4-2 and become the new champion.Her opponent had bundled out 2022 champion, Bose Odusanya, in the semifinal.
The men’s singles final produced one of the finest moments of the competition with Umeh and Akanbi entertaining the fans and dignitaries that witnessed the explosive finale.
Speaking after the final game, Umeh attributed his victory to determination and perseverance amidst the overwhelming support enjoyed by his opponent.
“I thank God I won, but it wasn’t easy because everything was against me, especially the fans. I am happy and I am looking to the next competition before the end of the year,” he said.
Also speaking on the event, the coordinator of the tournament, Ganiat Aruna, said the huge support from well-meaning Nigerians and overwhelming turnout of players would inspire them to improve on subsequent editions.
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