Aisha Rabiu and Victor Joseph, at the weekend, won the girls and boys’ categories, respectively, at the third Dr. A. A. Efunkoya Cadet Table Tennis Championships. The event took place at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Rabiu upset defending champion, Taiwo Akanbi, 3-1 (11-4, 11-8, 11-8) to win the girls’ singles title, while Joseph beat Tobi Adebakin 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-8) to clinch the boys’ singles category.
Joseph later partnered Ize Sezuo to win the mixed doubles event.
The highlight of the championships was the award of educational scholarships to the outstanding players at the event.
Speaking on her victory, Rabiu dedicated the title to her coach, who is also her father. “I am surprised that I was able to beat my opponent because I was down in the first game. But the pep talk and support of my father and coach was what I needed to turn the tide.
“This is a cherished victory for me and I hope to continue with this form in subsequent tournaments,” she said.
An elated son of the late Efunkoya, Akinwale, said the event was another opportunity to produce talents for the country.
He applauded the organisers for honouring his late father, especially for his contributions to the development of the sport before his demise.
A member of the Efunkoya Foundation, Ranti Lajide, said the tournament was put together to unearth players that would replace the likes of Quadri Aruna and others, adding that the Foundation plans to monitor the players’ progress.
It will be recalled that the yearly competition is being organised in honour of the former Chairman of the Nigeria Table Tennis Association, Dr. Adegboyega Efunkoya, whose inputs led to the revival of the sport and the discovery of talents and players for the country.