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Sholanke Emerges New Bayelsa Champions

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Azeez Sholanke have emerged Bayelsa State Table Tennis number one ranked player after the association’s ranking series in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital.

Sholanke beat captain and Nigeria number eight Samuel Boboye 3-1 to dethrone Boboye who had earlier beaten Etim Orok to set up Azeez and Boboye clash.

Azeez Sholanke’s victory means that Sholanke is the highest ranked player in the State according to a ranking release by the Bayelsa State Table Tennis Association on Thursday at the Samson Siasia Stadium multipurpose hall.

Boboye now dropped to second on pecking order following the defeat, Matthew John on third while Etim Orok who won gold at the Alabi memorial table tennis championship finished 4th, Oweifa Nurudeen Sholanke on 5th.

Kogi State Victor Joseph finished first in the under 15 category followed by Bayelsa Kemala Victor who  came second, Samuel Ojo could only manage third as Delta State Olawale Abdulmailk finished fourth.

Godspower Moses popularly known as “Leave Am For Me” clinched the para-table tennis ticket just as Bobo Oziri in the deaf table tennis.

The association presented trophies of previous tournaments to the body to Director of Sports Bayelsa State Sports Council Sir Braveman Wodi.

The tournament won includes the Michael Felicia and Alabi memorial Table Tennis championship in Osogbo, Osun State, Reis Table Tennis championship, Lagos as well as Offiong Edem Mini Table Tennis tournament in Cross Rivers State.

In a remark, Director of Bayelsa State Sports Council Sir Braveman Wodi, said since Ama-Ebi assumed office as chairman of Bayelsa State Table Tennis Association the  association has achieved a lot, describing it as novel.

Sir Wodi noted that table tennis in the last  few years has given Bayelsa State international recognition with the discovery of Samuel Boboye and other tennis players, stating that he is pleased with the level of progress the sports has made.

He commended the chairman for the passion and commitment in ensuring that table tennis thrive in the State.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman Bayelsa State Table Tennis Association Mr Ama-Ebi Ebikpolade, said the target was to make table tennis competitive in Bayelsa and beyond, urging all the players to marry the sports with their education.

He asserted that table tennis would soon become Bayelsa sports as it often described as western sports, expressing confidence in the current team.

Ama-Ebi Ebikpolade lauded Governor Senator Diri Douye and his deputy Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Chief Daniel Igali and Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi for their continuous support for the association.

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Hananeel Jackson
Hananeel Jackson media officer of Bayelsa United, Best reporter Bayelsa Media Award 2022
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