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Delta makes history, goes wild in tennis celebration

This was the common phrase among Delta Tennis players and officials at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, venue of the tennis event of the on-going National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012.

It was a historic moment for them. They had invaded the centre court to celebrate their first ever tennis gold in the history of National Sports Festival.

They were emotional about the victory and officials allowed them the freedom to express their feelings.

Tana Abdulkareem Badmus and Joseph Iyorube had lost the first set, 2-6 but they grew in confidence and style to take the second set 6-4 against the pair of Idoko and Okechukwu from Akwa Ibom.

An awesome performance saw them take the super tie- break 10-5. They went wild in celebration and other players and officials from Delta thronged onto the centre court to celebrate with them. Fans understood and probably felt their emotions too.

They looked overwhelmed in the first set and Tana consistently lost his calm and openly protested against some points missed by his partner, Joseph.

That did not help matters as he also committed many unforced errors. His misses on the net were unbelievable. But he later recovered and played some superb winners that kept them alive in the second set and the tie-break even as Joseph hit great shots that made him outstanding.

He was the winner and said after the match that he knew Tana very well and had to calm him down during tense moments. It was Delta’s first tennis gold in the festival and that informed the wild celebrations inLagos.

Also, their Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan plays tennis and the players knew that the man would be happy with them.DeltaStateis reaping from their engagement of Rolake Olagbegi Kassim to train their tennis team.

Matches in the festival went straight into super tie-breaks after ties.

Moments after the men’s doubles final the Mixed Doubles started and Delta’s Albert Bikom paired with Maria Lodge to beat hard fighting pair of Iwuagwu and Ozurumba 6-2, 4-6-7, 10-2 from Imo to win the gold. Again, it was a tension-soaked match for both sides.

Albert was the master and he plays the singles final to attempt winning two gold medals. There are five gold medals in tennis and Delta has won two. They are  in contention for another when Albert Bikom steps out to play the singles final today.


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