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Ayanwale, Aiyelabegan win National Table Tennis Championships in Osun

Ayanwale, Aiyelabegan win National Table Tennis Championships in Osun

Jamiu Ayanwale of Rivers and Sukurat Aiyelabegan were flawless in their triumph at the 4th Michael & Felicia Alabi Memorial National Table Tennis Championships which ended in Ota Ayegbaju in Osun State at the weekend.

The five-day tournament has been upgraded to a ranking event by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and was organised by the Osun State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) with support from Michael & Felicia Alabi Memorial Foundation and Canada-based Jodal Health Care.

Earlier in the dayDelta’s Ese Onakpoberuo had beaten Favour Ojo of Ondo 3-2 (11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4) to emerge winner in the girls’ U-15 while Kwara’s Hussein Faruq of Kwara defeated Joseph Marvelous of Delta 3-1 (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6) to win the boys’ event.

Players from 28 states featured in this year’s event being the record entries from the previous editions and the tournament lived up to expectation with some tops seeds exiting early in the championships as number three seed Emmanuel Augustine of Lagos was shown the door by unseeded Mustapha Mustaph of Borno in the round of 16, while Joshua Oladiran of Ondo, who was 2023 runner’s up was bundled out by unseeded Wasiu Azeez of Oyo in the semifinal of the men’s singles.

In his quest to lift the men’s singles title, Ayanwale was unmatched from the knockout stage to the final where he also dominated Oyo’s Azeez with a commanding 4-1 (11-4, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6) to win the tournament for the first time.

Like Ayanwale, Aiyelabegan continued her dominance over Lagos State champion Bose Odusanya with an overwhelming 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8) to be crowned the women’s singles champion.

OSTTA Chairman and sponsor of the tournament Ayodeji Alabi lauded the players for putting up a good display while pledging his commitment to continue to improve the standard of the tournament annually.

“I am very grateful for another opportunity to host this tournament again and I am happy that at last, it has become a ranking event for all Nigerian players based on the sanction by NTTF. I hope and believe we can produce the next Quadri Aruna from this tournament, and it will afford us the opportunity to sharpen the skills of the players for major international competitions,” he said.

Alabi, however, hailed Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun for his commitment for sports development, adding that since inception the tournament has been receiving the support of the state government.

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