Champion of the All African games trial, Fatimo Bello has emerged winner of the National Women Singles Table Tennis Open Championship.
The competition hosted by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos saw Bello fight her way into the final.
Luck smiled on her after beating the likes of national player, Cecilia Otu-Akpan as well as returnee Ganiat Aruna to set up a final clash against former junior champion – Tosin Oribamise.
Despite not having the chance to compete in international tournaments like her opponent in the final – Oribamise, Bello made nonsense of the experience of her opponent.
Oribamise who is considered to be Nigeria’s most travelled and experienced player in recent times, was no match to Bello who thrashed the Ekiti State-born Oribamise 4-0 (11 -7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4) to take home the N200,000 star prize money.
An excited Bello said she is determined to make the Nigeria team to the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco.
“I’m very happy and excited about the victory. This is going to help me a lot because I won’t stop training and continue to work hard.
Training is the key to my success and hopeful I will continue to win. I actually started training two months ago for the trials and this Women Singles championship and I was expecting to win, so it is not something surprising.
As the first winner of this tournament which means I’m one of the best players in Nigeria, I will like to play abroad and do all my possible best if I get the opportunity. I’m looking forward to playing for the National team and excel with the team,” she said.
The tournament sponsored by the NTTF President, Ishaku Tikon had a major objective to rate female players and select team for major championships and the NTTF boss admitted that the objectives of the tournament were achieved.
“We have gotten the result of why we staged the competition. A new queen has emerged and the line-up according to their ranking has also been established, we are good to go and we are prepared to conquer Africa and we are on our way to dominating table tennis in the region,” Tikon said.
For the former President of NTTF, Wahid Oshodi, the performance of the players was encouraging and with constant training and regular competitions, the players would be ready to compete with the best.