Rilwan Akanbi beat Taiwo Mati 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 to emerge champion in the male singles’ event final at the NTTF National Championships, yesterday

Rilwan Akanbi and Fatimo Bello have emerged winners of the male and female singles events of the 2021 Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships, which held at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

In the match decided yesterday, Akanbi of Atinuke TTC defeated Ondo State’s Taiwo Mati 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 in a keenly contested match to emerge champion. While winner of the National Sports Festival, Fatimo Bello, triumphed over Bose Odusanya 15-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1 to win the women’s singles version.

In the cadet male’s singles, Samuel Boboye beat Matthew Kuti 3-0 (12-10, 11-3, 11-9) to win the clash, while Cross River’s Hope Udoaka dismissed Lagos’ Aishat Rabiu 3-1 (12-10, 11-2, 10-12, 11-4) to win the female class.

Earlier, Ondo State’s Taiwo Mati had defeated teammate, Amadi Omeh, 4-1 (10-12, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7) to win the male U-21 event, while Bukola Ajayi of G-20 outsmarted Rofiat Jimoh of Kwara in 4-2 result.

Speaking after beating the favourite, Mati, a delighted Akanbi said, “I am so excited and very happy winning the tournament. I never believed I could win it. Even while fasting, I trained very well for the championship.”

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