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Akanbi, Odusanya, others shine at LSTTA championship

Rilwan Akanbi, Bose Odusanya, Mathew Kuti, Joy Emmanuel, Tijani Rasak and Aisha Rabiu triumphed in the finals of the Closed Tournament Table Tennis Championship held in Lagos, at the weekend.

The two-day event, which began with preliminaries at the National Stadium, Surulere, climaxed with the finals held at the Table Tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.

The championship is organised by the Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA) and sponsored by the Life Centre Medical Services and The Ambulance Company.

In the final of the Men senior category, Akanbi hit David Fayele 11-6, 11-7, 11-5, while Odusanya beat Ifeoluwa Omotosho 11-4, 11-6, 14-12 in Women’s class.

Matthew Kuti, however, thumped Al-Ameen Damilare 11-5, 11-4, 11-9 in the Junior Boys’ group, while Joy Emmanuel won the Junior Girls class duel against Taiwo Coker 11-6, 11-4, 11-4.

Tijani Rasak humbled Hussain Adeoye 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 in the Cadet Boys’ cadre, while Joy Emmanuel overpowered Taiwo Coker 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in the Cadet Girls’.

LSTTA Chairman, Tunji Lawal, described the event as a platform for coaches to train players for the Asoju Oba Cup, which begins tomorrow at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

“I can tell you it has been a wonderful two-day contest. I discussed with the coaches the need to move some of the junior players to the senior team. The growth has been wonderful and some of the players discovered in the junior category could no longer stay in that category.

“We have seen quite a number of good players and this is a result of our developmental programme. We have a new set of players from the cadet and they will coming up soon to the junior class hopefully,” he said.

Speaking on the challenge, co-sponsor of the event, Life Centre Medical Services, represented by Dr. Opeyemi Oladunjoye, said the firm was excited partnering with LSTTA.

“Our main aim to sponsor the event is to improve the lives of Nigerians. When we heard about this competition, we showed interest because it is always a nice thing to see youths engage in sports. This takes them away from social ills, like cybercrimes and the rest,” she said.

On her part, the Managing Director of Ambulance Company, Dr. Onisarotu Aisha, said: “Our firm is a proud sponsor of the table tennis event. We are here to offer different emergencies services, ranging from first aid care to the players and fans at the competition. Also, we offer standby emergency services at wedding, burials and events,” she said.

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