It has been an eventful year for Table Tennis in Nigeria, from the 21st Commonwealth games in Australia to the 19th National Sport Festival in Abuja, the Sports deserves some accolades.
In no particular order and without any deliberate omission , these are what I think are the most memorable moments in Nigeria table tennis in 2018.
THE MEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM OF GOLD COAST 2018 .
After four days of no medal for Nigeria at the Commonwealth games in Gold Coast. Nigerians home and abroad were worried with irritations about lack of medals.
But on the fifth day of the event, the ninth of April, the quintet of Azeez Jamiu , Bode Abiodun , Olajide Omotayo , Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola made Nigeria proud by clinching the first medal for Nigeria at the event , losing to India’s Men’s team for the silver medal .
The Medal came as a sooting relief.
ARUNA QUADRI: TWO FIRST TITLES IN ONE MONTH.
2018 is no doubt one of Aruna Quadri‘s best years. He accomplished some feats in his career this year that has eluded him in previous years but what was very remarkable is the manner in which he accomplished them.
Aruna has never won the Nigeria Open, Infact no Nigerian has ever won the title but after wining his first ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open , twenty –eight later, he won his first Men’s Singles title at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius.
8th Augutst – 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open
9th September – 2108 Men’s Singles Title ITTF African Championship.
ARUNA QUADRI: THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN TABLE TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME – International Olympics Committee.
Just some months ago, the International Olympics Committee introduced Aruna Quadri as the most successful African Table Tennis Player of all time, this might be duly because of his achievement at the Rio Olympics when he became the first African to reached the quarterfinal of the Olympics since the Sports was introduced at the 1998 Summer Olympics in Seoul
Ironically , Quadri was born in 1988 and he was less than two months old when Table Tennis was first introduced at the Olympics .
Aruna deserves a National honour .
5OTH ANNIVERSARY OF ASOJU OBA TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP .
The Asoju Oba Championship marked her golden jubilee with glamour and fun fair .
The tournament has discovered arguable more than fifty percent of Nigeria table tennis players past and present .
Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship is the foundation for everything table tennis in Nigeria.
DAVID FALEYE: TWICE BITTEN , ONE CAR .
Fate has a way of reserving the best for us even after several disappointment .
If David Faleye has defeated Jamiu Azeez at the 2017 Asoju Oba Men’s Single Final , he won’t have won a car .
The star prize in 2017 was an Okada.
If he has conquered Hammed Adeyinka in 2014 , he wont have the opportunity of going home with a brand new Peugeout 301.
But in his third final , he defeated German based and crowd’s favourite Omotayo Olajide to clinch the third car ever given in the men’s category since 1968 .
THE RESURFACE OF GANIYU ASHIMIYU.
Ganiyu Ashimiyu is one of the most talented ping ponger in Nigeria , he is a player you can rely on to cause upset anyday , anytime .
But After Eko 2012 National Sports Festival , where he won a bronze medal representing Lagos , nothing much have been heard about the talent until he got to the final of 19th National Sport Festival in Abuja.
He won a silver medal in Abuja after losing to seven times Olympian , Segun Toriola.
We hope to see more of Ganiyu Ashimiyu in 2019.
NIMOTA AREGBESOLA DEFEATED FUNKE OSHONAIKE
No soothsayer can predict this .
Last year Nimota Aregbesola won the Women’s Singles of the Funke Oshonaike Foundation .
Few weeks ago at the National Sport Festival , Nimota defeated her mentor 4 – 3 in the Quarter final stage of the Women’s Singles.
The biggest upset in Nigeria Table Tennis in 2018.
If conquering Funke was a fluke , the nineteen years old went on to win the bronze medal of the women’s singles event.
RASHIDAT OGUNDELE AND THE UMPIRES .
One of the most beautiful and sensational table tennis player in Nigeria has joined the league of Umpires in Nigeria.
The Civil Defence Corps Officer emerge the best graduating student during the Nigerian Table Tennis Umpire Course .
We are yet to see her officiate her game .
SEUN AJETUNMOBI .
One of the lowest moment for the The Table Tennis Family in Nigeria in 2018 was demise of Seun Ajetunmobi on the first June.
Seun is probably the best Southpaw player in table tennis in nigeria.
January first 2019 will be eight months since you left .
- We continue to miss you