Umeh, Fashola Claim Titles at 3rd Quadri Aruna T’Tennis Open

Umeh, Fashola Claim Titles at 3rd Quadri Aruna T’Tennis Open

Femi Solaja

Amadi Umeh showed why he is the best local-based player in the country after a hard-fought win over Rilwan Akanbi just as Aminat Fashola had an overwhelming win over Sukurat Ayelabegan to emerge champions at the 3rd Quadri Aruna National Table Tennis Open which ended in Lagos at the weekend.

Aruna Sports and Academy organised the five-day tournament in collaboration with Eko Club and Olusoga Odunayo Adesanya Foundation with over 300 players across the country in attendance in the N5million prize money championships.

The well-attended final had all the elements of a grand finale as Umeh showed class against the fans’ favourite Akanbi to emerge as the new men’s singles champion.

Despite not getting enough support from the Lagos fans, Umeh had in the semi-final beaten 2022 champion Muiz Adegoke before setting up a final clash against homeboy Akanbi.

Before the epic final between Umeh and Akanbi, Fashola’s change of tactics against defensive Ayelabegan was all she needed to win the women’s singles title at 4-2.

The men’s singles final produced one of the finest moments of the competition with Umeh and Akanbi entertaining the fans and dignitaries that witnessed the explosive finale.

Playing with a lot of confidence Umeh nearly scuttled his opportunity to be crowned the champion as his opponent began to demystify his tactics to stretch the match to more than an hour. 

Wrong decisions coupled with several unforced errors became the undoing of Akanbi who squandered his chance to hand the title to Umeh.

Speaking after emerging champion, Umeh said: “I thank God I won but it wasn’t easy because everything was against me, especially the fans. I am happy and I am looking to the next competition before the end of the year,” he said.

For the coordinator of the tournament, Ganiat Aruna, the huge support from well-meaning Nigerians and overwhelming turnout of players would inspire the organisers  to improve on subsequent editions.

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