Bello, Akanbi Emerge Winners at ITTF Tourney
For the second time in a row, Fatimo Bello of Nigeria retained her women’s singles title after beating compatriot – Aminat Fashola 4-2 in the final of the ITTF Africa Western Region Championships concluded at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall in Lagos.
Also, a new champion emerged in the men’s singles after Rilwan Akanbi dazed compatriot and tournament’s favourite Azeez Solanke to become the men’s singles regional champion.
Bello who won the maiden edition of the championships in Abidjan 2019 was unbeaten in the singles event and she completed her good run with a convincing 4-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) win over Fashola.
In the entertaining Men’s final, the calmness of Akanbi paid off for him as he humbled Solanke 4-3 (7-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8).
The four-day event was dominated by Nigeria ahead of participating teams like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Benin Republic.
Nigeria’s dominance started in the team event with the host claiming the men and women titles in team.
Like the team event, Nigeria also defeated Ghana to clinch the Men’s doubles title after Amadi Umeh and Orok Etim came from 2-0 down to beat Ghana’s Derek Abrefa and Emmanuel Commey 3-2 (4-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7).
The women’s doubles event was won by Nigeria’s duo of Bello and Bose Odusanya after they defeated their compatriots – Hope Uduak and Vivian Oku 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9).
For the Secretary General, ITTF Africa Western Region, Germain Karou, the tournament has been a huge success considering the quality of organisation and play during the four-day event. “I am impressed with what Nigeria has put up, particularly the standard of play from the players. We hope and believe Nigeria will continue to lead the region so that others can come up and compete favourably with them at continental and global levels,” Karou said.