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Solanke, Aregbesola Win Oshonaike Junior Tourney

Solanke, Aregbesola Win Oshonaike Junior Tourney

Azeez Solanke and Nimota Aregbesola at the weekend emerged the champions of the Funke Oshonaike Foundation U-16 Junior Table Tennis Classics. Solanke defeated Jamiu Ayanwale 4-0 in the boys final while Aregbesola finished first in the girls category after emerging the best in the round robin stage.
The three-day tournament saw over 30 junior players from different parts of the country engaging in clinics which culminated in the final competitions.
The final was witnessed by several dignitaries which included the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Wahid Enitan-Oshodi, former Secretrary
General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Banji Oladapo, Editor of The Nation Newspaper Gbenga Omotosho, Nollywood star Lillian Bach, among others.
Despite finishing third in the ladies event, Agnes Onoja stole the show when she came from 3-1 down in her match against Alimot Ayinla, to emerge victorious 4-3.
It was not just about the final matches but also the opportunity to put into practice what the players have learnt during the clinic.
The players were allowed to serve as coaches and umpires during the final with the boys handling the girls’ matches and vice-versa.
In her speech during the final day, African table tennis queen Oshonaike expressed her appreciation to God and all who made the tournament possible.
“I give God almighty the glory for today because this has been a project I think about almost on a daily basis in the past 10 years,” she said.
“It has been fun all the way in the past one week of this programme because the young ones have further confirmed that the country is blessed with huge
talents all over various parts. My believe in the ‘Catch them young’ style informed the staging of this programme which is also my own way of giving back to the society.
“Let me seize this opportunity to call on corporate organisations to support table tennis in the country. It was tough for me coming up with this programme
but with the encouragement of my President, Enitan-Oshodi, my sponsors, FROT Foundation and my Friends, I was able to pull through.
“It is also important for government to bring up programmes and competitions to keep the young ones and national players busy.”

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