Ogun State table tennis fremale rising star, Mariam Popoola has shown a strong potential to retain her title at the National Youth Games, after emerging winner of her class in the first Late Madam Meritinure Abebi Quarterly Developmental Table Tennis Championship in Abeokuta.
SportsDay reports that Popoola and Ogun State junior table tennis champion, Ayomide Abiona both shone like a million stars in the finals of both girls and boys singles respectively at the highly competitive competition in The Rock City.
Abiona thrashed Olamide Adeyemi by four sets to one, winning the first and second sets (11-8, 11-6) before losing the third set 6-11 and later won the fourth and fifth sets (11-3, 11-7) to clinch the boys single title, while Popoola was too hot for Modupe Babatunde, who she dismissed easily in four straight sets (11-8, 11-9, 11-6 , 11-3) to emerge girls single champion at Alake Sports Centre Hall, Ijeja, Abeokuta.
Destiny Obuh and Ebenezer Akanbi won third-joint prize in the boys’ singles category while twin sisters, Kehinde and Taiwo Olayiwola did well together to clinch joint third position in the girls single.
In the Cadet Boys Single, Roqueeb Bisiriyu narrowly defeated Ayomide Obadele three sets to two while Fathia Yekini won by similar margin in the female category, of all which Ogun State Director of Sports, Adesola Faleti said showed another pool of future talents on offer.
Faleti described it as a timely tournament, because it was used to select players for the state’s contingent to the forthcoming Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He lauded Engineer Olasunkanmi Erinfolami for willingly sponsoring the championship and for his role in supporting the association to discover and groom players for the Ogun State.
In response, Erinfolami, who was represented by Pastor Segun Oluotomi thanked everyone who turned up for the championship, which was also attended by top officials of Ogun State Sports Council, many table tennis coaches, administrators and the state secretary, David Osuolale.
Erinfolami charged the 47 players that participated in the tournament to take education seriously and combine it with their career in the ping-pong game .
He also urged them to be disciplined, if they want to succeed in life with sports and education, even as he went on to assure them of his untiring and continuous support to development of table tennis in the state.