Players from the Federal Capital Territory, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and hosts Lagos states were among those that put up excellent performances that saw them emerge as champions at the just concluded 13th edition of the annual Central Bank of Nigeria Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos on Saturday.
Playing in the boys 10 and under category, Yohana Yakubu, from FCT, Abuja defeated hard fighting Arwal Jaji from Lagos 8-10, 10-7, 10-8 to emerge champion while Lore Lax Holzendorf beat Esther Ehimebe 2-1 (10-5, 2-10, 10-5 in what was seen as an all Edo final to emerge victorious.
The boys U-12 was won by sensational Seun Ogunshaki from Ekiti State while Nene Yakubu of Lagos outclassed Favour Amaechi from Rivers State to claim the girls 12 and under title.
Also victorious was Akwa Ibom State player, David Ekpeyong who ran home with the boys 14 and under trophy when he defeated Oyo State’s Ganiyu Mubarak in two straight sets, 10-4, 10-2
Suleiman Ibrahim from Abuja beat David Dawariye from River State 10-4, 7-10,10-8 in a hard fought U-16 boys final battle to come out tops even as Omolade Aderemi from Ondo State conquered Omolayo Bamidele from Ekiti state with 2-0 straight win to emerge as the U-16 girls champion.
Lagos State player, Serena Teluwo won the U-14 Girls category by defeating Abuja’s Salamatu Haruna 10-5, 10-7 in the final.
Speaking at the grand finale, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN who represented the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, commended all the players and officials that took part in the exercise for their commitment and reaffirmed apex bank’s resolve to ensure better future for Nigerian youths.
Okorafor hinted that the CBN Junior tennis which is open to all boys and girls that fall within ages 10 and 18 since it’s inception in 2006, has remained a very important event on the national tennis calendar.
He called for the need to maintain the objective which include, ensuring that young talents are discovered early enough and nurtured to limelight while establishing a strong transition platform to the senior category as well
as provide an enabling environment that would attract talented junior players from all over the country to compete and showcase their talents.
He also revealed that the management of CBN has noted with satisfaction the steady success recorded in CBN championship as Nigerian players who rose through the CBN annual tennis, are now hitting it big in America, Europe and other parts of the world. He pledged that CBN would continue its sponsorship of the championship,
Junior tennis players from the Federal Capital Territory, Akwa Ibom. Bayelsa, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Plateau, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo among others, took part in the week-long championship held from April 28 to May 4, 2019, at the National Stadium tennis courts and the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.