DESPITE failing to make the men’s singles final, Nigeria dominated the maiden 2019 ITTF West Africa Challenge, which ended in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday.
The Nigerian team claimed gold and silver in the women’s single to emerge the overall winner. Fatimo Bello came from behind to beat compatriot – Tosin Esther Oribamise 4-2 in the final of the women’s single.
Bello set a record at the tournament as the only player that did not drop a game on her way to the final.
The final game between Bello and Oribamise gave the spectators something to cheer with both players dazzling with their strokes and looping to the admiration of the fan inside the Multipurpose Hall in Trenchville, Abidjan.
An elated Bello said winning the title was not without its challenges, as she had to come from 2-0 down to win 4-2.
“It was not easy at all because I had to come from behind to win the encounter. I am very happy and grateful to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the opportunity to represent my country. I must also acknowledge the support from the Abidjan fans despite being my first time in this lovely country and I look forward to returning next time,” Bello said.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Nadia Kemanan settled for bronze in the women while Ghana’s Derek Abrefa finished third in the men’s event.
In the men’s final, it was a battle between home boy – Oba Oba Kizito and Benin Republic’s Monday Olabiyi to determine the champion of the region.
The winners are expected to represent the region at the 2020 Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia