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Scrabble picks 12 for Africa Championship in Ghana

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Twelve players have been selected to represent Nigeria at the 9th Africa Scrabble Championship holding in Accra, Ghana from October 21 t0 24, president of the Scrabble Federation of Nigeria, Chief Toke Aka has said.

According to Chief Aka, the players who have already reported to camp in Lagos since Monday, October 12, 2010 are Jighere Wellington, Balogun Rasheed, Emmauel Umujose, Eta Karo, Cyril Umebiye, Omosefe Prince, Dennis Ikekeregor, Oshodi Sunday, Faloye Ibukun, Saidu Ayorinde, Anthony Ikolo and Wale Ilori.

“The players will be engaged in marathon games to enable them recall all the words they have been studying. They will play up till Monday (October 18) (while) Tuesday will be a free day to enable players relax before final departure for Accra on Wednesday, October 20,” he said

The Scrabble boss added that the players are taking the exercise very seriously while “The results from camp will be rated daily and can thus affect their positions on the National Ratings. This is so because the top five players on the National ratings will be selected to represent Nigeria at this years Causeway Championship in Johor Bahru – Malaysia.”

The Africa Championship has been held eight times with Nigeria winning seven of them, the last one being two years ago in Nairobi where, Jighere Wellington emerged champion. Previous champions from Nigeria include Iffy Onyewonwu, Femi Awowade, Jimoh Saheed, Moshood Sanni and Dennis Ikekeregor who has won it twice.

Chief Aka disclosed that the Causeway Championship in Malaysia is “an invitational for the top five players from the top eight Scrabble countries in the World and two international teams comprising of the top ten rated players in the world who are not representing their countries. These countries are: UK, USA, Canada, Nigeria, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.”

After the Africa tourney in Ghana, all the players will again head southward to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for the 4TH Godswill Akpabio Scrabble Classics which has a star prize of $12, 000 (about N1.8m), Chief Aka said, adding that the total prize money for all the categories of the Classics is about N7 million.

“The event will be played in four categories: Masters, Intermediate, Opens and Veterans. The classics will be played over three days from the October 29 – 31. International players are also expected to come, including the current World Champion: Pakorn Nemitramansuk,” he said.

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