Defending Champion, Ahmed Adeyinka, continued his good run to retaining the cup he won last year, as he booked his place to the last 16 round in the men’s single event of the 48th Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Cup holding at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Also qualified for the last 16 round in the males singles’ event are junior internationals, Rilwan Akanbi, Azeez Solanke. Alimot Ayinla, however, qualified for the quarterfinal stage of the competition in the women’s cadre.
Solanke, who remains unbeaten in the matches played so far, said the Asoju Oba Cup would serve as a tune-up for him in this year’s ITTF World Junior Championship holding later in the year in South Africa.
“I am using this competition as a build up for the South Africa championship. I know it is not going to be easy, but I will give my best to finish among the top players in the singles.
“The standard this year has been high because most of the players taking part in this championship also played at the just concluded NTTF national championships,” he said.
Speaking on the championship, a Deputy Referee, Olufemi George, expressed happiness over the turnout, which he said has been made possible by the large participation of schools in the both the cadet and junior events.
According to him, “I must say that the turnout of players for this year has been encouraging as more players are participating in the cadet and junior events. This is a good development in order to unearth more players while they are still young.
“ This is the time they can be groomed to world class players like Aruna Quadri. More schools are showing interest in the competition. A school like Indian Language School has over 62 players taking part in this year’s competition. This is actually good for the sport and we hope we can identify these players at a tender age,” George said.