The oldest sporting tournament in the country, Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Cup will serves off today with 18 titles to be jostle for by over 300 players across Lagos State.
The Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium will come alive again as players besiege the venue to share from the mouth-watering prize money at stake at the five-day championship.
According to the organisers, this year’s tournament will have the women singles title renamed Lady Olivet Okoya-Thomas Women’s trophy after the late wife of the initiator of the competition.
According to Ayodeji Okoya-Thomas, “This of course will be the second, after 46 years, that is not being addressed by the initiator and sole sponsor of the tournament, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas. One of his greatest wish while alive was that the family should continue the sponsorship of the tournament after his demise; we would therefore like to give God all the glory for giving the grace to continue this noble legacy for the second year running, since he was called to glory.
He added: “From this year the women’s singles trophy is now renamed ‘Lady Olivet Okoya-Thomas’ women’s trophy in honour of our late mother, Lady Olivet Abosede Okoya-Thomas who was a pillar of support to our late father, the visioner and sole sponsor of the championship,” he said.
The tournament grand finale holds on Friday November 25.
Since 1968, the tournament has been staged for 48 years uninterrupted and it remains the longest running competition which has also produced some of the great stars for the continent. The likes of Atanda Musa, late Yomi Bankole, Bose Kaffo and current African women singles champion, Olufunke Oshonaike were former champions of the tournament which started in 1968.