The 2018 El-Marino Sports Club ‘Alukimba Table Tennis’ Tournament took place on Easter Monday with Uchechi Okere (aka Teacher) retaining the title by beating Paul Asemota in the finals 4 – 11, 11 – 6, 11 – 9.
El-Marino is a Lagos based Sports Club that promotes physical development of members and healthy living through participation in sporting activities. It is a non-religious, multicultural and non-governmental club that also develop and contribute to charitable causes in various parts of the country.
The third-place match between Dapo Fashogbon and Alex Agbotia was won by Dapo Fashogbon. The tournament was sponsored by Otunba Toyin Odunowo (aka Alukimba) supported by Designers Affairs and N2i collections.
Earlier, Paul Asemota defeated Alex Agbotia in one of the semi-finals 11 – 7, 11 – 6 while Okere beat Dapo Fashogbon in the second semi-finals 11 – 4, 11 – 5.
The tournament, which is the 7th edition of the El-Marino Sports Club ‘Alukimba Table tennis competition took place at the Alfred Gardens Recreation Centre, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking at the end of the rivalries, the Team Manager of El-Marino Sports Club, Anthony Akamagwuna commended the organising Committee of the tournament for a job well done.
His words: We had a successful tournament. A winner has emerged in the person of Uchechi Okere, he is a perennial winner, other members must look for ways to improve themselves so that he could be knocked out of that first position stool. All in all, it was a good tournament and we hope that next year’s tournament will be better than this one.
Reacting to suggestions that Uchechi Okere should be excluded from subsequent tournaments because he has won four previous editions, Akamagwuna said, “I think we should all go and train, Roger Federer has been winning lawn tennis tournaments and he has not been excluded from playing, so, I think the way forward is for us to go and train, work harder and see if we can beat him in the next tournament”.
Also speaking during the post-match interview, Uchechi Okere said, “sincerely speaking, this year’s Alukimba table tennis tournament of El-Marino Sports Club was very very interesting. Bringing it to this venue also made it more interesting. Unlike previous editions, I think the participants did more preparation for this tournament. That is why, this year, the table shifted a bit; our usual second position player was knock-off at the quarter final stage and we had two new participants clinching the second and third positions. I am very happy at that. Even the final game was not very easy for me but by the grace of God and focus on what I was doing, God granted me victory”.
In his reaction, one of the special guests, Navy Captain Bala Adaba (RTD), former Executive Director of NIMASA said he was very impressed with the organisation of the tournament. He also commended the standard of play by members. He however suggested that in subsequent editions, the tournament should be held in a wider venue so that players can have wider space to play and return the balls.