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2019 AJC Qualifiers: Marylove, Yakubu lead Nigeria’s title defence

Star prospects, Marylove Edwards and Oiza Yakubu headline Nigeria’s strong contingent to the 2019 ITF West and Central Africa Africa Junior Tennis Championship qualifiers which would serve off Tuesday at the Stade Omnisports, Lome, Togo.

The team made up of six boys and six girls will be coached by Abel Ubiebi with national player Patience Onebamboin as assistant.

Nick Bolleteri Tennis Academy US-based Edwards, Mary Udofia and Rebecca Ekpeyong will compete in the U-16 Girls category while Iye Onoja, Serena Teluwo and Oiza Yakubu will play in the U-14 category.

UK-based Andu Mukhtar, who will be in Nigeria’s colour for the very first time, will alongside Matthew Abamu and Usman Kushimo vie for honours in the boys’ 16 and Under while Ganiyu Mubarak, Ibrahim Suleiman and Joshua Maxwell will jostle for honours in the 14 and Under.

“They all appear enthusiastic and are raring to go. They have also shown positive attitudes in training which is very important ahead of such an important tournament. I believe we shall return victorious,” said Ubiebi.

Yakubu, who has been enjoying a steady growth in the last few years by winning a host of national junior titles, is looking forward to clinch gold in her category having featured in the U16 last year where she had a podium finish.

Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament winning seven out of the last eight editions including the last one which also took place in Togo.

The tournament which is expected to feature about 12 countries while the main African Junior Championship is scheduled to take place later this year.

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