Bose Odusanya set a new tournament record at the 52nd Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Cup when she claimed her sixth women’s singles title at the oldest sporting event in Nigeria.
From 2015, Odusanya has been unbeaten in the final and again this year she reclaimed her title by beating Kehinde Oyeniyi 4-0 (11-1, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11) to win the two-day tournament held at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
She is the first player in the history of the tournament to claim the title consecutively six times in a row.
With the quarterfinal exit of men’s singles defending champion, David Fayele, a former champion, Ahmed Adeyinka, reclaimed the crown.
Fayele, who had boasted of his intention to a consecutive title, was shocked in the quarterfinal by Augustine Emmanuel, who put an end to the dream of the soldier with 4-2 (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8).
Despite working his way to the final, Emmanuel was no match to Adeyinka in the men’s singles final.
From the start of the tie, it was as if Emmanuel was going to humble another former champion but from the way Adeyinka approached the match, it was clear that he had learned from the downfall of Fayele in the quarterfinal.
In less than 30 minutes, Adeyinka defeated Emmanuel 4-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5) to make up for losing in the final last year.
48 men and 25 women competed in the tournament, which has continued to churn out stars for Lagos and Nigeria.
Speaking at the end of the competition, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Gafar Bolowotan, said the tournament happening this year confirmed the commitment of the late Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas family to grassroots development.
“I am happy that the family decided to stage the tournament this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic and we are happy that new players have emerged and we believe the Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSSC) would take up some of the discoveries from there.”
“I must also commend the players for conducting themselves throughout the tournament by following the laid-down COVID-19 protocols, which is a confirmation of the state’s commitment to protecting the lives of athletes,” he said.