It was an easy win for Fatimo Bello on Thursday after she beat Tolu Durosimmi-Etti 4-0 on berth in the final of the 48th Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Cup which ends on Friday November 25.
Bello, a former champion was merciless against the 2012 and 2013 champion as she wasted no time in dismissing Durosimmi-Etti 4-0 in the first semifinal tie of the women’s singles.
Defending champion, Bose Odusanya defeated policewoman Funke Hassan 4-2 in the second semifinal match of the women’s single to set up a final clash against Bello.
In the men’s singles, two members of Team Nigeria to next week’s ITTF World Junior Championship in South Africa, Azeez Solanke and Rilwan Akanbi will be playing in the semifinal after they both defeated their opponents in the round of 16 and quarterfinal matches played on Thursday.
Solanke, a semifinalist at the 2015 edition of the championship was in fine form against Michael Obayomi in the round of 16 while Akanbi also sent Isiaka Seriki packing in the last 16.
The pairing of Ahmed Adeyinka and David Fayele beat the duo of Monsuru Kazeem and Rilwan Akanbi 3-1 to win the men’s doubles title while the pair of Bello and Odusanya walloped Hassan and Durosimmi-Etti 3-0 to claim the women doubles laurel.
For the semifinal pairing, Akanbi will have his hand full when he battles defending champion, Ahmed Adeyinka in the first seminfal while Solanke will have a date against Olakunle Ajulo to decide the finalist.
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-certified umpire, John Peters has described the turnout for this year’s championship as encouraging with more players are eager to emulate the likes of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola.
Peters, who was one of the umpires that handled proceedings at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil told NationSport that the performance of Aruna Quadri in Rio has ignited interest in the sport.
“I must tell that since I have been officiating this competition in the last four decades, this year’s turnout was impressive particularly in the cadet division. We have more schools and clubs competing in the competition while the senior players were not left out of the championship. I must say that the performance of Aruna Quadri in Brazil has ignited the interest of the players and we have more of them trying to emulate Quadri. This is good for the sport and we hope we can discover of Quadris from this championship,” Peters said.
Meanwhile, the final of the men and women singles events will be the climax of the event as new winners are expected to emerge.