Lagos State ‘Top 20 Showdown’ Table Tennis Tourney: Azeez, Bose emerge champions
In its effort to continue the promotion of Table Tennis in Lagos State and to prepare the state’s athletes for the 19th National Sports Festival coming up in Calabar later this year, the Lagos State Table Tennis Association organised a two-day championship tagged “Top 20 Showdown” which saw Ogunlade Azeez and Odusanya Bose winning the male and female categories respectively.
The competition which took place at the Table Tennis Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, saw Azeez and Bose smiling home with cash prizes of Sixty and Forty Thousand Naira respectively.
Azeez, who scaled the different stages of the tournament, defeated Anthony Gbenga 4-3 in a thrilling encounter in the finals and expressed joy at winning the maiden edition. He also said he didn’t expect the victory but that he planned to train more in order to repeat his success.
Speaking with SportingLife, he said: “I am very happy winning this competition. I didn’t plan winning it at all, but I thank God. I played very fine and I intend to train more to be a better player.”
Odusanya Bose, who thrashed Fatimo Bello 3-1 in the women’s final, said confidence saw her through the female category, as she was determined to defeat Bello who had always outshined her at different competitions.
”I am happy I won the game. I had the confidence that I would win the competition and beat my opponent,” Bose told SportingLife.
The championship was sponsored by the chairman, Lagos State Table Tennis Association, Femi Sokoya, and he said the motive behind the tournament was to ensure that the state surpasses its record at the last sports festival hosted by Lagos State, and also produce future stars who can bring glory to the country.
“The tournament was like a screening process to see players who are in form, up and coming, to know the direction the association needs to take in preparation for the next National Sports Festival,” Sokoya said.
“We administrators can only encourage these players to grow, push them. I believe these players can take over from the likes of Segun Toriola and Haruna Quadri,” he added.