After walking home with a brand new car for his efforts at the golden jubilee anniversary of the longest running tournament in Nigeria, David Fayele is not ready to drop the toga of being the men’s defending champion when the 51st Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Cup serves off later this month.
Also, players across the Lagos have started warming up at Rowe Park and National Stadium in their bid to dethrone champions in 17 events at stake.
Fayele, who defeated Olajide Omotayo to emerge as champion in the men’s event is aiming to hold on to the title in his bid to work his way into the national senior team.
The Nigerian Army officer said nobody can stop his dream of carting home the highest prize this year.
“I have already started training in the past weeks for the competition because my aim is to show the national handlers that I can be part of the national team. Also, I want to show people that my claiming the title ahead of Italy-based Omotayo was not a fluke. I can still do it again and I want to do in a grand style this year,” Fayele said.
A confident Fayele however, lauded the family of late business mogul, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas for keeping faith with the tournament after the demise of the initiator. “We are very grateful that the family has continued to sponsor the tournament and this for us has really motivated us to always give our best. We hope that this year will be unique like the 2018 edition as we are expecting a large turnout of players across Lagos State,” he added.
Fayele and Bose Odusanya emerged champions in the men and women categories of the 50th anniversary of the tournament.
To walk home with a brand new Peugeot 306 saloon car each as well as giant trophies for their hard-earned efforts, Fayele came from behind to beat favourite Omotayo, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10 (4-2), while Odusanya retained her title for four years in a row, after defeating Nimota Aregbesola 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10, (4-2).