Team Nigeria has vowed to extend its perfect record in the Team event at the 2023 African Junior Tennis Championship (AJC), which will end today in Lome, Togo.
The youngsters have been in blistering form all week dominating the team event with victory over the hosts, Togo, and Burkina Faso.
Even though the U-16 girls and U-14 boys were disqualified for not featuring adequate number of players for the event, the U-16 boys and U-14 girls have been flying the country’s flag high in the team event.
The trio of Seun Ogunsakin, Mubarak Ganiyu and Yahaya Sani are set to ensure that Team Nigeria maintains her perfect record.
In the same vein, the impressive trio of Khadijat Mohammed, Bright Emmanuel and Ndidi Osaji will ambush Ghana’s youngsters in the girls U-14 to their determination to make it three wins in the Team event.
Already, Nigeria has won three of the four gold medals available in the singles event, and two in the doubles, bringing their medals haul to five gold.
Ohunene Yakubu won gold in the girls’ U-16 event, beating Togo’s Anne-Marie Gnarou 6-0, 6-0. Ekiti State-born Ogunsakin also grabbed a gold medal in the U-16 category, beating Togo’s Xavier Gakpo 6-3, 6-3 to complete a total dominance by the Nigerians, both boys and girls.
Emmanuel, who is one of the most consistent rising stars at the moment, secured her first-ever gold medal on the circuit even though it was as a result of her opponent, Mohammed, retiring due to injury.
The girls U-14 also secured gold medals in the doubles event. Gold medalist, Yakubu, who has been outstanding all week, partnered with Etoro Bassey to whip the Ghanaian pair of Tracy Ampah and Sisu-Makena Tomegah in two straight sets of 6-1, 6-2.
The Nigerians girls, thus, won their fourth gold medal for the country at the competition. Nigeria’s Khadijat Mohammed partnered with Winner Gakpo from Togo, to defeat Ndidi Osaji and Bright Emmanuel in the Girls U-14 Doubles final.
The Nigerian players defeated two home players in the process. However, the team spirit was dampened after Nigeria was disqualified in the Team event.
But the players seem to have put that disappointment behind, and are determined to leave the tournament in a blaze of glory. They have promised to do themselves and country proud in today’s finals, where they seek to win the remaining medals up for grabs.
As at yesterday, Team Nigeria has five gold medals from a possible eight, three in the singles and two in the doubles event.