THE finals of the second edition of the Prime Atlantic Squash Tournament on Saturday saw Onaopemipo Adegoke and Rofiat Abudulazeez winning in the male and female categories, reminding spectators why they are Nigeria’s number one ranked players.
The tournament, which served-off Oct. 31 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, had the players playing the best of five games.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the women’s final, Abudulazeez defeated Blessing Isaac 11-7 11-8 11-7, an aggregate of 3-0. For her effort, she was rewarded with N150,000 prize.
Abudulazeez told NAN that training hard for the tournament gave her the the expected result.
“This tournament wasn’t easy, everyone played at their optimum level. Blessing was great today even though I won,” she said.
In the men’s final, Gabriel Olufunmilayo gave Adegoke a tough start as he led by 1-0 in the first set, then Adogoke stepped up his game winning the second set in the best of five games.
Adegoke, the defending champion, won the last set 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 1-11, 11-5, an aggregate of 3-0 in 58 minutes, and smiled to the bank with N220,000 prize.
“I can never be tired of winning, it is something I work and train hard for. As long as I put in the work, I deserve to win. Gabriel is tough, definitely not a push over.
In the junior boys’ category, Shuaib Giwa of Kwara, defeated Ayomide Yusuf 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 3-0 aggregate in 30 minutes. In the junior female category, Aisha Abuduraheem defeated Zainab Ishola 11-6, 11-1, 11-9, 3-0 aggregate in 19 minutes.
Ayo Otuyalo, the Chief Executive Officer officer of Prime Atlantic, told NAN that he was impressed with the level of improvement and skills displayed by the players.
He described Adegoke as a confident player that have self confidence.
“I’m so impressed with what I have seen here today compared to the maiden edition this is really highly competitive and I’m so impressed.
“Adegoke is an exceptional player, his level of confidence as a player is top notch, it doesn’t matter if his losing a set, his come back is always mesmerising. It’s such a delight to watch him.
“Next year God sparing our lives I won’t be surprised if he wins again, he understands his craft,” he said.
Boye Oyerinde, the president of Nigeria Squash Federation, applauded the Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA) for organising a Professional Squash Association(PSA) world ranking tournament for players.
“The matches were impressive. I’d like to commend the leadership of LSSA headed by Tomi Falase and Prime Atlantic for putting this together for players.
“It’s not just about the cash prize but it’s also about going up in the world ranking. Kudos to Prime Atlantic and we hope to see more of this tournament in the near future,” he said.
NAN reports that with the N2.6 million prize money, players who played in the round of 32 and 16 went home with prizes unlike before when only the winner and two runners up were rewarded.
Falase told NAN that it was a great way to end the year, and applauded the sponsors, Prime Atlantic, for keeping faith with the association.
“Getting PSA ranking is equally important to players. Christmas came early for our players because not only do they get to step up in the world ranking, they equally got cash prizes which is good for their welfare.
“We can’t take credit for this. We’re grateful for our sponsors, Prime Atlantic. We’d be looking forward to more fruitful partnership,” he said. (NAN)
-November 05, 2023 @ 08:35 GMT |