Winner of the table tennis singles’ males’ event at the 48th Asoju Oba Molade-Okoya Thomas Cup tournament, Rilwan Akanbi
Rilwan Akanbi and Bose Odusanya won the singles’ males and females’ events respectively at the 48th Asoju Oba Molade-Okoya Thomas Cup held during the weekend at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Akanbi humbled Azeez Solanke 4-3 to win his first major singles title, while defending champion, Odusanya, retained her crown by overwhelming Fatimo Bello 4-2 to win in the ladies’ cadre.
Both Akanbi and Solanke would be representing the nation in this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Junior Championship holding in Cape Town, South Africa, between November 30 and December 8.
Speaking on his victory, Akanbi said he had to dig deep to surmount his opponent.
“I am very happy winning this cup for the first time. Azeez Solanke was a big challenge to me, as we are both in the junior team. We were both promoted to play in the senior level.
“At the start of the game, I knew it was going to be an even match because he is a very good player. We play together in the junior category as well and the level of competition was very good. This tournament has always improved my game each time it is be being organised.”
On her part, Odusanya expressed joy over retaining the cup she won last year. According to her, the victory became possible due to hard work.
“I’m very grateful winning this title back-to-back. I want to thank God for crowning my effort because I trained a lot for this championship. My opponent, Fatimo Bello, a club mate, played very well too.
“But I was very determined and God made the victory possible for me. I want to thank the family of the late Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas Thomas for hosting this tournament and I hope they will not relent in this yearly competition,” she stated.