The trio of Tokyo 2020 Paralympians, Isua Ogunkunle, Faith Obazuaye and Olufemi Alabi, dominated the third Lagos Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open held on Saturday at the Molade Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Ogunkunle, who is the top seed in Africa, won gold in the singles and open in the men’s class four events, while Alabi, a bronze medalist at Tokyo 2020, claimed the men’s class 10 in the singles and open events, as Obazuaye, sustained her control of the women’s class 10 when she won the gold medal in singles and open events.
In other matches, Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi won the women’s class five when she beat experienced Faith Obiora to cart away gold medal in the singles and open events, while also Tokyo 2020 Paralympians, Ahmed Kolesoho and Victor Farinloye won gold medals in the singles event of men’s class three and eight respectively, but couldn’t make it to the top spot in the open events.
Speaking at the grand finale, the Lagos State First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu expressed delight to be part of the final day of the 2021 edition of Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open jointly organised by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Para Division and Sunday Odebode Para Table Tennis Foundation.
She said: “Let me start by congratulating and commending the organisers of this all-important championship for deeming it fit to put it together as part of efforts designed to play up welfare and interests of the differently able in the society.
“This yearly championship is an important tournament for table tennis athletes, who are living with disabilities to showcase their talents and compete, while also serving as a national ranking event of note in Nigeria.”
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu added: “My message to you, therefore, is that whilst you continue to invest the right energy and zeal into training, you must also take your education even more seriously and equally draw inspiration from great table tennis players, who are making waves nationally and internationally.
“For the Lagos State government, the commitment remains the same and that is to continually put measures in place to play up the welfare, wellbeing, and interests of people living with disabilities”.