Top Seeds Win At Lagos International Squash Classics

Squash ClassicsThe top seeded players, Wale Amao and Yemisi Olatunji, confirmed their supremacy at the Lagos International Squash Classics, claiming the titles in the men and women events of the competition.

Amao overcame wildcard Lanre Abdulrahman 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 to win in the men’s event and cart home the 170,000 Naira star prize while Olatunji pummelled Veronica Sunday 14-11, 11-4, 11-1 to claim the 90, 000 Naira prize money.

In the U-19 category, Temiloluwa Adegoke beat Michael John 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10 while Busayo Olatunji sealed the girls’ title after outclassing Idowu Ogunyemi 11-3, 11-2, 11-1.

For their impressive performance, the U-19 champions were awarded education grant by the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC).

According to LSSC Chairman, Deji Tinubu, efforts would be made to kick-start the U-19 league to grow the sports in the state.

“We are going to sit with the Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA) and they will come up with the logistics and how they want to start the u-19 league. Ours is just to create an enabling environment and also to support because it is very important that at that age we need to keep them focused. We want to encourage, we want to support.

“If the U-19 squash players know that they have a regular competition, they will stick to it and develop their talents. I’m very impressed with what they did today as well as the prize-money.

“You can imagine if the U-19 know that in a year they will playing in six or seven competitions and they know that at the end of year, they can make decent money and other advantages of having their school fees paid, training grants and all, it will get excited and settled,” he said.

“For the U-19 boys and girls that we’re supporting next year in their education, they don’t need to worry about their school fees.

“That burden is taken care off so they can concentrate on the game and school.

“It’s all about encouragement and creating enabling environment and like Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said, it’s all about keeping the youth busy and most importantly, let everyone feel the impact of government,” Tinubu added.

A satisfied LSSA Chairman, Sanya Akindele, commended the state government for keeping faith with the tournament while promising that the association would continue to promote the sport across the state.

“The Lagos International Squash Classics held in 2014 was a full PSA tournament which we had about 40 top players from all over the world.

“This tournament that we concluded today is a close satellite ‎event, it is also a PSA sanctioned tournament but geared toward improving the rankings of our players so that when they go out to play international tournaments, they’ll have better seedings.

“Later in the year, we are going to have a full blown international squash classics which we expect to have better and higher seeded players. The last time, we had some top 20 players, hopefully, this year we’ll have some top 10 players,” he told reporters

Top Seeds Advance At Lagos Squash Classics

Squash ClassicsTop seeds at the Lagos International Squash Classics, Wale Amao and Yemisi Olatunji continue their fine form as the competition enters crucial stage.

Amao, who is the men’s number one seed needed just 35 minutes to dismiss Seun Jayeola 11-2, 11-9, 11-3 in the first round.

Women’s number one seed, Yemisi Olatunji was without mercy against Grace Mayh as she spent just 20 minutes in an encounter that ended 11-4, 11-1, 11-0.

In other matches played in the men’s event of the opening day, Idowu Enimakure was stretched to the fourth game by Moshood Abubakar but eventually won 5-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-9 to progress to the quarterfinal stage.

Other players in the last eight of the men’s event include Shola Thomas, Sodiq Taiwo, Endurance Omosor, Jerry Ogunjiofor, Lanre Abdulrahman and Moses Durosinmi.

Other female players that joined Olatunji in the quarterfinal are Kally Yashim, Omolola Ajayi, Dunni Okikiola and Taiwo Ebifemi, while the trio of Bisi Adeleke, Sunday Veronica and Busayo Olatunji walked over their opponents to move to the next stage.

Ex-international, Wasiu Sanni commended the players for their quality of play, which he described as impressive.

“I must tell you that the standard is very high and the players gave a good account of themselves. The seeded players like Amao and Olatunji are in fine form and other players are not pushovers.

“Being a PSA-sanctioned tournament, all the players are hoping to use it to garner world ranking points while the fate of all the players that failed to show up for their matches will be decided by the PSA. It is not a national competition but an international tournament with most of the final decision to be taken by the world body,” Sanni said.

The tournament will run from March 17 to 19, with the top eight players sharing $2,500 in the men’s event while the top female players will also share $1,500.