Greater Accra Table Tennis Association 2022 season

2022 season with a knockout championship

WO Henry Tetteh - left & Isreal Akli - Promising Start of Greater Accra

The Greater Accra Table Tennis Association started the 2022 season with a knockout championship which was held at the D.G Hathiramani Sports Hall in the Accra Sports Stadium on 18th June 2022, which comprised all the clubs in the region. The knockout championship saw nineteen clubs competing for the coveted title of the 2022 Greater Accra Knockout Champion.

 
Greater Accra is the hub of table tennis in the country and the registered clubs were a testament. Players of all ages were registered to participate. The distribution of ages could be said to comprise cadets, juniors, seniors, and veterans.
 
The Competition was controlled by a three-member team putten together by the technical director of the region Mr. Eric Ado. The team comprised Mr. Ebenezer Whyte – Tournament Director, Mr. William Asare – Competition Manager, and Mr. Robert Amartey – Tournament Referee.
 
Friendly hostilities began at 9:00 am, which saw clubs compete in a straight knockout fashion. Each team was comprised of three players involved in a best of five games with the winning team moving on to the next stage.
Joseph Osei - 1 from left & Ghana Immigration Team - GATTA Knockout Champions
The semi-finals of the male event saw Ghana Immigration Service play against Ghana Prisons Service and Hope Table Tennis Club played against Ghana Police. Ghana Immigration Service and Team Hope Foundation won their semi-finals encounter to set up a mouth-watering encounter between Team Hope Foundation and Ghana Immigration Service. It was a match dubbed youth versus experience. 
 
Ghana Immigration Service was represented by Derek Abrefa and Emmanuel Asante, and Team Hope Foundation by Francis Antwi, Godwin Alarbi, and Cletus Fiifi Kwason. The first encounter between Emmanuel Asante versus Godwin Alabi was won by three games to zero (3 -0) in favor of Emmanuel Asante, Francis Antwi also lost by three games to zero (3 – 0) when he played Derek Abrefa, this brought us to the last match of the encounter between Francis Antwi and Emmanuel Asanti which was won by Emmanuel Asante by three games to zero ( 3 – 0). 
 
Based on the stellar performance of Ghana Immigration Service, they were crowned the 2022 Greater Accra Male Table Tennis Knockout Champions.
Ghana Army Team - 2022 GATTA Knockout Champions
The female side of the draw saw Madina Stars battle it out with Ghana Navy and Ghana Police versus Ghana Army. In the end, Ghana Navy represented by Bernice Borkwey, Eunice Quayson, and Raheal Togbor faced off with  Ghana Army represented by Celia Baah Danso, Eva Adom Amankwa, and Augustina Baidoo met in the finals which was won by Ghana Army thus the ladies of Ghana Army becoming the 2022 Greater Accra Female Table Tennis Knockout Champions.
 
Isreal Akli a.ka Koki Niwa of team courage and Asiaman stars was adjudged the promising start of the region and was rewarded with a glittering trophy presented to him by W.O Henry Tetteh.
 
The president of the Greater Accra Table Tennis Association Mr. Solomon Akonor thanked the clubs for a wonderful showing and also acknowledged the Ghana Table Tennis Association headed by Mr. Mawuko Afadzinu for their immense support. He also indicated that the knockout would be followed up with the Greater Accra Table Tennis League and pleaded with corporate Ghana to come to the aid of the region.

Greater Accra Table Tennis Knockout Competition

Greater Accra Table Tennis Knockout Competition

Table Tennis Players Likely to feature

The Greater Accra Table Tennis Association which is under the regional National Sports Authority and affiliated with the Ghana Table Tennis Federation announces the commencement of the 2022 season with a knockout competition to be held on 18th June 2022 at the D.G Hathiramani Sports Hall at 9:00 am prompt.

The competition would involve all the major clubs in the Greater Accra Region. Notable amongst the clubs are as follows:

# Name Of Club
1 Team Courage
2 Blue Rose Table Tennis Foundation
3 Diamon Table Tennis Academy
4 Hope Table Tennis Foundation
5 Tiger Sharks
6 Divine Loopers
7 Rising Star Sports Foundation
8 Ghana Fire Service
9 Ghana Army
10 Ghana Navy
11 Ghana Prison Service
12 Ghana Immigration Service
13 Madina Stars
14 Ghana Police Service
15 Kings Royal Academy

The knockout competition serves as a curtain-raiser for the Greater Accra Table Tennis League which is tentatively planned to end in three months, it promises to excite table tennis fans in the region.

The executives wish to invite the general public to the D.G Hathiramani Sports Hall to witness exciting table tennis.

Further, the executives also would wish to use this opportunity to seek help in order to carry out its activities in the region.

Anyone who wishes to assist can donate to the merchant mobile money number of the association as indicated below:

Name               – Greater Accra Table Tennis Association.

Momo Number  – 0597392400

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

Egyptian veteran wary of Aruna’s threat in Africa Cup

Egyptian veteran wary of Aruna’s threat in Africa Cup

Ahmed Saleh of Egypt - ITTF Africa Cup Champion

At 42, Ahmed Saleh loves to compete in Lagos and as the defending champion of the forthcoming ITTF Africa Cup, the Egyptian veteran believes the atmosphere at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium is a motivating factor for every player.

He is particularly concerned about the threat posed by the present form of Quadri Aruna who set a new record as the first African to reach the semifinal of the WTT Star Contender in Doha, Qatar.

Regarded as the oldest active male table tennis player in Africa, Saleh cannot wait to come to Lagos to defend the title he reclaimed in Tunis in 2020 while admitting that he is ready for the task ahead.

Saleh may not possess the speed and agility that present-day table tennis demands but what the Egyptian has in abundance is his tactical discipline.

Relishing his experience on his previous numerous visits to Lagos, the former African Games champion said: “Lagos is a unique venue every player will always want to play because of the lively atmosphere with the venue always filled up by the fans. This is a unique venue for table tennis in Africa because no other country has this kind of atmosphere even in some European countries you hardly see this kind of lively spectators who understand the sport. But with the present form of Aruna, I must be at my best to overcome players like him in Lagos.”

“It is motivating for us players to play in such an environment that you don’t lack the needed support to want to always give your best. I love the venue and the fans because they support you regardless of your nationality which for me is fair enough for all players,” he said.

Ahmed Saleh of Egypt - ITTF Africa Cup Champion

“I will always try my best in every competition but I must admit that the speed in the sport is higher now. I will continue to play even at 42 as long as my body can carry me because my life revolves around the sport,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ongoing African Club Championships will on Tuesday, May 24 enter a crucial stage after teams from Nigeria, Egypt, and Cote d’Ivoire progress to the knockout stage of the three-day tournament taking place at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

ITTF Africa Western Region Championships: Mati wins maiden laurel as Bello retains women’s title

Nigeria dominates team event

Fatimo Belo (Right) & Mati Taiwo (Left)

Taiwo Mati had to dump out two former champions to win his maiden laurel in the men’s singles at the ITTF Africa Western Region Championships as Fatimo Bello claimed her third consecutive title in the women’s singles of the competition.

Mati who finished fourth at the national trials organized by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) won back his confidence after edging out 2019 champion Oba Oba Kizito of Cote d’Ivoire in the quarterfinal as well as his compatriot and 2021 champion Rilwan Akanbi in the semifinal to get passage to the final where he also humbled compatriot Azeez Solanke 4-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8) to emerge as the new regional champion.

In the women’s singles, Bello continued her dominance with another victory over compatriot Bose Odusanya in the final.

Bello, who has remained unbeaten since 2019 when she won the maiden title in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire showed her class when it mattered most with 4-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4) over Odusanya.

An excited Mati attributed his triumph to the disappointment he experienced during the national trials. “I could not believe that I would finish fourth at the national trials and this really motivated me to work harder for this competition. I knew I had to be at my best to be the best and today I was able to show that against my tough rival. He wanted to come back but I just kept to my tactics and this paid off for me at the end of the day for me to win my first regional title,” he said.

For Bello, winning this year’s title was tougher than the previous ones. “I think this year was a bit challenging for me, especially playing against my compatriots. I knew I had to do something different to ensure I retained my title and this I did for things to work out for me and I am happy hoping that this would prepare me for the next two competitions – African Club Championships and Africa Cup,” she said.

Nigerian Female Team

In the team event, host – Nigeria dominated the men’s and women’s divisions after beating Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to retain their titles.

To retain their title in the men’s team, the trio of Amadi Umeh, Azeez Solanke, and Rilwan Akanbi fought well to be the Ivorien trio of Oba Oba Kizito, Ali Kanate, and Cedric Oba 3-2, while it was a smooth ride to the podium for the Nigeria women’s team as the quartet of Fatimo Bello, Bose Odusanya, Ajoke ojomu, and Tosin Oribamise and whitewashed their Ghanaian counterparts 3-0 to retain the title ahead of others.

Players from Mali, Togo, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire featured in the three-day championships which also served as qualification for the 2022 African Championships taking place in Algiers later in the year.

Nigerian Male Team

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

Lagos has become Africa’s table tennis hub

Lagos has become Africa’s table tennis hub

Executives of ITTF

It was without mincing words that the President of ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy tagged Nigeria’s commercial never center, Lagos as the hub of table tennis in the continent following the successful staging of several ITTF-sanctioned events.

Speaking at the press conference to herald the commencement of the 2022 African Club Championships, the Egyptian specifically thanked the Lagos State government for their commitment to the sport in the last seven years which he said has helped to produce world-beaters.

“I must commend the government of Lagos State for what they have done for table tennis because the city has become the hub of table tennis because all players within and outside Africa are always looking forward to competing at the venue, especially with the huge spectators that most times supporting the players regardless of their teams. ITTF has now seen Lagos as one of the cities that they cannot ignore when it comes to staging top-class competition and for us in Africa, we are always confident that the state has the capacity to host major international tournaments,” El-Salhy said.

He described the just-concluded Western Region tournament as a testament to what to expect in the next few days when the Club Championships and Africa Cup start.

For the Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), Wahid Enitan Oshodi, the staging of a top-class tournament would not have been possible without the huge support from the Lagos State Government as well as sponsors. “We cannot get to where we are at the world level without the support of the Lagos State government because what we have achieved became reality based on their backing. Also, our sponsors play a huge role in where we are today and we hope we can continue to rely on their support,” Oshodi said.

For the chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) Sola Aiyepeku, the state has seen table tennis as one of its important sports that has continued to put the state on the world map. “We believe that with what we have been able to achieve with table tennis, we can boast to say that we are capable of hosting the world. But this was made possible with the commitment of MOC chairman Oshodi whose passion has continued to inspire us to always do more and we are committed to the sport. We thank the ITTF and ATTF for their confident repose on us and we will continue to raise the bar,” Aiyepeku said.

16 clubs made up of nine men and seven women will compete in the Club Championships from May 23 to 25 while 48 players (28men and 20women) will compete for the continental slots at the Africa Cup from May 26 to 28 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium. 

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

2022 National Sports Festival

The South-West Coordinator of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) Emmanuel Egbele has expressed strong optimism that players would use the various competitions organized in the zone to prepare well for the 2022 National Sports Festival scheduled for Asaba, Delta State in November. 

He spoke against the background of the Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble Tournament (EEAST) which would move into the scene early next month in Lagos as plans to make the sophomore edition a festival already activated. 
 
Dokun Esan coveted the overall title of the well-attended maiden edition which is now a huge attraction for top scrabblers in the Masters, Intermediate,  Opens,  Students as well as the Veteran’s categories. 
 
Recently, players converged in Lagos for the MSPL Matchday One as well as the Lekki Club Quarterly Retreat before heading to Ibadan, the Oyo state capital for the maiden IGP Scrabble tournament as well as the first South-West Closed championship which was held in late April.
 
Clubs in Ogun, Ekiti, and Ondo states also squeezed in some competitions for players to refine their mastery of the mind game in what appeared to be a very engaging calendar in the zone. 
 
The new verve has also drawn students from tertiary institutions into the loop of intense competitions, giving coaches a larger pool of fresh talents for the challenges ahead, especially at the country’s Olympics, and National Sports Festival.
 
Taking stock after some busy scrabble schedule, Egbele said what he has witnessed so far was an indication that competition would be keen when the Festival gets under later in the year.
 
“My expectations were very well met and it can always get better,” he said.
 
“The South-West Closed championships is always an opportunity to hone your skills, to practice and improve. Considering the National Sports Festival coming up in November, these tournaments are also supposed to help players as part of preparations. You know,” he continued,  “when we have tournaments like this, players who will be representing their states will be using this tournament for performance so that, when they get to the Festival,  they will be able to take laurels back home.”
 
He said players’ yearning for competitions were being matched with different level of scrabble events with 
tacit support from the state chairmen and other stakeholders.
 
He commended the NSF and the players for a dominant display at the recently concluded West Africa Scrabble Tournament (WAST) in Ghana where Nigeria took the first nine positions in the top 10 as Eta Karo emerged as the winner.
 

Source: Nigeria Scrabble News – Tayo Ogunseye

World Championship Regional Qualification

Breaking! Nigeria’s Eta Karo Claims First West Africa Scrabble Tournament In Ghana

Nigeria’s Eta Karo Claims First West Africa Scrabble Tournament In Ghana

Nigeria’s Eta Karo
After three days of grueling top scrabble action, Eta Oghenekaro on Wednesday emerged as the winner of the maiden West Africa Scrabble Tournament held in Accra, Ghana.
 
Gambia, Sierra Leone, and host Ghana participated in the tournament which involved English-speaking West African nations while Liberia withdrew. 
 
His victory which highlighted Nigeria’s dominance in the sports saw the country’s representatives occupying the top positions after a massive 28 rounds of games in three days.
 
The Malaysian Prince whose victory marked his first success on the International scene shook off some stiff challenges from fellow compatriots, South-South champion Nsikak Etim, Tunde Oduwole,  Enoch Nwali, Wellington Jighere as well as other top players from the country.
 
Karo who is well known for his frugal board strategy steered his way to the top by sealing his unassailable position in the 27th round.
 
His victory has sparked some waves of celebration across the country which has established itself as the number one scrabble-playing nation in the world.

Source: Nigeria Scrabble News – Tayo Ogunseye

Fatima Bello

2022 Western Region Championships: Nigeria battles Ghana, and eight others for ITTF WC slots

2022 Western Region Championships: Nigeria battles Ghana, eight others for ITTF WC slots

Fatima Bello
Fatimo Bello - West African Champion

Host – Nigeria will slug it out with Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and six other nations at the Western Region qualifiers for the 2023 ITTF World Championships (WC) which kicks off on Thursday, May 19 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Four events – team (men and women) and singles (men and women) – will be jostled for at the three-day tournament with Nigeria’s Rilwan Akanbi and Fatimo Bello defending their titles in the singles events while Nigeria will also be aiming to retain the team events titles.

Apart from Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal, others teams participating in the tournament are Mali, Guinea, Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, and Togo.

Already, all is set for the commencement of the championships as the participating teams will be targeting the few slots from the region on the final day on May 21.

Team Nigeria returned from their camp in Ogun State on Tuesday and they are expected to be led by Akanbi while other members of the team include Amadi Umeh, Azeez Solanke, and Taiwo Mati.

Bello will lead the women’s team alongside Tosin Oribamise, Ajoke Ojomu, and Bose Odusanya.

However, Cote d’Ivoire Oba Oba Kizito who lost his men’s singles title in 2021 after winning the maiden edition in 2019 arrived from his base in Paris, France believes he is ready to wrestle his title from anyone in Lagos.

“It is unfortunate that I lost my title in 2021 but now I am ready to reclaim my title back and hopefully I can lead my team to the title as well. There is no doubt that Nigeria will be difficult to beat but they are also beatable. I am so excited to always come to Lagos because this is where I enjoy table tennis with the huge support from the fans,” the 2019 Western Region champion said.

For the Secretary-General of the Western Region, Prof Germain Karou, the stage is set as the host has put everything in place to ensure a hitch-free event. “I am so excited that we are having this tournament again in Lagos being the home of table tennis in Africa. We want to enjoy the best of table tennis from the talents that are from the region and we hope more Quadri Aruna will emerge from the tournament. It promises to be exciting being the qualifiers for the 2023 World Championships in Durban, South Africa,” Karou said.

Egypt and Mauritius dominated the Northern and Eastern Region qualifiers held in Algeria and Ethiopia respectively.

Source: African Table Tennis Federation

Assar leads Egypt’s contingent to Lagos for Africa Cup

Assar leads Egypt’s contingent to Lagos for Africa Cup

Omar Assar - Egypt

World number 19 Omar Assar will be leading the six-man Egyptian contingent to the 2022 ITTF Africa Cup taking place in Lagos from May 26 to 28 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The tournament which serves as the continental qualifiers for the end-of-the-year WTT Cup Finals will have 28 men and 20 women from 13 countries competing for the singles titles.

Assar who recently moved to Germany after playing two seasons in the French league will be championing the North African onslaught alongside defending champion Ahmed Saleh and Mohammed El-Beiali.

Assar who is Lagos fans’ favorite will be hoping to regain his top spot in the continent after being displaced by Quadri Aruna in 2020 and the 2019 Africa Cup champion has been warming up for the tournament in Germany.

14-year-old Hana Goda and African champion Mariam Alhodaby will be making their debut at the tournament, women’s defending champion Dina Meshref will be hoping to put the disappointment of 2021 behind her and aiming to hold on to the title she had won more than six times.

In the list released by the President of Egypt Table Tennis Federation (ETTF) Moataz Ashour, the team will arrive Lagos on May 24 as they are expected to defend their titles against Quadri Aruna-led Nigeria side.

The Egyptian team will be coached by their Chinese tactician Zhang Chaoling whose milder touch has brought vibrancy to table tennis in the North African nation.

Also in the fray for the title is Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw who has continued to grow his fans base in Africa following his display at the 2019 Nigeria Open.

Players from Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, Algeria Cameroon, Kenya, and Togo are expected to compete in the three-day high-ranking points tournament.

Source: African Table Tennis Federation