Akanbi, Bello emerge champions at NTTF national championship | Dailytrust

Akanbi, Bello emerge champions at NTTF national championship

Rilwan Akanbi
Rilwan Akanbi

After five days of intense competition, Rilwan Akanbi of Atinuke Table Tennis Club and Fatimo Bello of G20 have emerged champions in the men and women’s singles at the just concluded 2021 Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships.

Akanbi, whose national rating had dropped due to inconsistency, worked his way to the top of the men’s singles after edging out title contenders like Amadi Omeh and Azeez Solanke before finally ending the unbeaten run of Taiwo Mati in the finals to emerge as the new national champion.

The former Asoju Oba champion was never considered a title contender having performed poorly at the 20th National Sports Festival in Edo as well at the Aso Cup in Abuja but at the weekend, he put up a good performance to lift the coveted trophy and N250,000 star prize money.

Akanbi had to rally from 2-0 down to beat Ondo’s Mati 4-3 (7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9) to the admiration of the fans at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium

A delighted Akanbi described his win as a reward of hard work, “I am so delighted to win this title because nobody considered me as a title contender. I had lost my form in the last three years.

“I hope to continue to raise my game hopefully to get myself into the national team,” Akanbi said.

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, Bello who has been the champion in the last two tournaments maintained her reign as the best female player in the country with a convincing 4-1 (15-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1) win over Bose Odusanya in the women’s singles final.

 

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