Raji Adebayo of Daily Independent Newspaper on Saturday made history by emerging as Champion of the maiden edition of the Adesoji/Oyo SWAN Table Tennis Championship.
Raji Adebayo beat hard fighting Ike Yusuf in the tough and tension soaked final by two sets – 11-9, 14-12.
Ike Yusuf, who bundled out Oyo NUJ Secretary Sola Oladapo and Oyo SWAN Chairman Niyi Alebiosu on his way to the final, however found it impossible to beat Raji Adebayo.
Yusuf, who won the MVP OAPS Table Tennis Tournament held last week to mark the birthday Impact Business Radio’s sports presenter Hafiz Afolabi, succumbed to the superior fire power of the Daily Independent Correspondent.
The competition’s giant killer, who eliminated the pre tournament favourite Sola Ayegbajeje at the quarter final stage of the competition, Paul Alaziri of 32FM took a joint third position with Niyi Alebiosu of Nigerian Tribune.
Both third placed players had their campaigns ended at the semi final, when they lost to the two finalists.
In his remarks at the event, the tournament’s sponsor Mr Tayo Adesoji, represented by Mr Ademola Ajibike, promised to donate two table tennis boards to Oyo SWAN, while a former National Table Tennis Champion Chief Waheed Ekun, who watched the competition’s final, similarly promised to donate table tennis kits.
Also speaking at the closing ceremony of the table tennis competition, Oyo SWAN Patroness Ambassador Romoke Ayinde eulogized the organisers of the competition.
She then reiterated her persistent call for unity among sports writers and presenters in Oyo State.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Oyo State Chapter Mr Niyi Alebiosu, whose Association organized the competition, thanked Mr Tayo Adesoji and Ambassador Romoke Ayinde for their moral and financial supports, which he noted, were responsible for the success of the competition.
Mr Alebiosu thereafter promised to make the table tennis tournament an annual event.
Other dignitaries who graced the event included Mr Ajagbe, who donated the table tennis board used for the tournament, the General Manager of the Oyo State Sports Council Mr Gboyega Makinde as well as the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists Oyo State Council Mr Ademola Babalola, represented by the Union’s Treasurer, Mr Akeem Abass, the State Chairperson of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Jadesola Ajibola and a veteran sports journalist Mr Ade Somefun.
The Tournament’s Champion was given a standing fan as his prize, with the runner up getting a blender, while the two third placed players went home with electric stoves.
Also, the only female contestant in the table tennis competition, Mrs Yinka Bode Are was rewarded with a gift for her courage in daring to compete in the male dominated tournament.