A twelve year old Tobi Adebakin and Kehinde Akanbi have emerged the winners in the boys and girls categories of the maiden edition of Aruna Cadet Invitational Championships at the Eko Club, Surulere on Sunday, October 17.
The tournament was sponsored by the Africa’s No. 1 table tennis player, Quadri Aruna in conjunction with Eko club.
The table tennis star also used the event to launch his Aruna Sports Club and Academy.
Adebakin defeated Joseph Emmanuel to claim the cadet boys title, while Akanbi claimed victory over Faisat Misbau to go home with the girl’s cadet crown.
Speaking after the competition, Quadri, said the tournament is an opportunity to develop the next set of stars in Nigeria who will take over the scene.
According to him, “While growing up, we heard about Atanda Musa, it was after 10 years that we started hearing about Segun Toriola and then another 10 years after he has been reigning for so long that we started hearing about Quadri Aruna.”
“This means we are producing very good players every one decade. This is what I don’t want to continue and that’s why I’m organising a tournament like this.
“I want us to be producing about five good players every five years. So this is going to be a continuous tournament which will take the format of a table tennis league in future, Aruna.”
Winners went home with N50,000 each, while defeated finalists got N25,000. Third-place players also got N15,000 cash rewards, while quarter-final losers went home with N10,000. There were also cash rewards of N35,000 each for group losers.
Other attractions of the day included exhibition games by non-professionals which included comedian Ayo Makun and musician Timi Dakolo.
Guests who were in attendance include Vice President of the African Table Tennis Federation, Enitan Oshodi.