Nigeria showed itself as a powerhouse in West Africa after dominating all the events at the just concluded ITTF West Africa Regional Championships held in Accra, Ghana.
The four-day tournament has teams from Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and host Ghana competing in the team and singles events.
Again, Nigeria showed its supremacy in the region after retaining the men’s and women’s team events at the expense of Benin Republic and Ghana.
Fatimo Bello of Nigeria set a new record after claiming the fourth women’s singles title to retain the laurel ahead of her compatriot Ajoke Ojomu in the explosive final.
By winning the title, Bello has become the first player to win the singles title four times in a row.
To emerge as champion at the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra, Bello faced a stiff test from Ojomu but she was able to pull through with a 4-3 (9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9) win.
Also in the men’s singles, Amadi Umeh of Nigeria defeated former champion Oba Oba Kizito of Côte d’Ivoire in a one-sided final.
It was with ease that Umeh beat the 2019 champion 4-0 (11-6, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8) to emerge as the new men’s singles champion.
Bello had earlier guided Nigeria women’s team to victory in the women’s team final against host – Ghana to retain their title.
Umeh also spearheaded Nigeria’s dominance in the men’s team event with a convincing 3-0 win over Benin Republic in the final.
Bello was excited about her victory but admitted that this year would be the toughest final she had played in the competition. “I think playing against my teammates in the final made this year tougher for me because we are teammates and we know ourselves. It was not easy but I thank God I can retain my title and I look forward to the Africa Cup in Kenya later this week,” she said.
Host – Ghana managed to claim silver and bronze in the team event, while Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire also made it to the podium at the tournament.
The participants also lauded the organizers of the championships, the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) for being a good host while hoping that the West African nation would host a major continental tournament.
Source: ITTF Media