Lagos - The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Pilot League was wrapped up on Friday with the federation giving out not less than N890,000 in prize-money to the winners of the competition.
The Sunshine Table Tennis Club of Ondo emerged the best club, wining N200, 000 in top prize-money.
Two separate teams from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that placed second and third, respectively, were awarded N100, 000 and N50, 000.
The men’s singles was won by rising star player, Ojo Onaolapo of Sunshine club. He received N100,000 while Kazeem Makanjuola of NSCDC, who placed second was presented with N50,000 cash as prize-money.
Boboye Oyeniyan, of Sunshine was third and received N30,000.
Onaolapo said he was happy, both for himself and his team mates for the successes they recorded in the league.
He said his past intensive training helped him to emerge victorious. ”My playing according to what my coach taught me is what I reproduced.
“I will go back to Akure and intensify my training. Constant training will always make me better”.
Oyeniyan of Sunshine also said he was lucky to win this time. “You cannot always win your matches. It is painful and one cannot be at the top at all times.
“One needs to accept defeat and I have done that and I will go and work on my mistakes,” he said.
He added that this was just the beginning of his career as he would ensure that he performed better in future tournaments.
Adedotun Omoniyi, the Sunshine coach, said he was pleased with his athletes’ performance, stressing that they made the club proud.
“The people of Ondo State will be proud of our `stunning outing’. The players adhered to my instructions and that is why we are all happy now”.
He added that they were able to achieve this because virtually all table tennis players in Akure trained daily, from Monday to Friday, so as to improve.
“I don’t let my athletes have the mind set that they will win-at-all costs in competitions but rather to play according to instructions and put in their best.
“When we notice mistakes, we go back to work on them, so as not to repeat them again,” he said.
The league lasted a week, from March 7 to March 14 at the Knock Up Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Not less than 40 teams, including 20 clubs, took part in the competition.