10 Aug 2019

Winner of the boys’ singles title at the recent ITTF World Hopes Challenge in Oman, the host nation’s Usman Okanlawon has impressed at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos.

On Thursday 8th August, he finished in second position in his men’s singles group behind India’s Sudanshu Grover before, by the very narrowest of margins, losing to compatriot Ismaila Akindiya in the preliminary round (8-11, 9-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-1, 12-10, 13-11).

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer

The very close defeat could well be a portent for the future; the young man believes that in the not too distant future, he can win the men singles title at the ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open.

“I am confident that in not a distant time I can emerge as champion of this tournament, competing this year has really increased my confidence. I am hoping that I can learn more from the top players.” Usman Okanlawon

Notably in the group stage of proceedings he beat Amadi Omeh, also from Nigeria; he won in five games succeeding by the very narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 3-11, 12-10). In the fifth game he was cheered by the fans who delighted in his efforts.

“This is my first time to play against Amadi. I was told that I should play with confidence and so I did. I was competing in the senior category for the first time, I hope to see myself in the final and meet the likes of Quadri Aruna and the rest of them. I am happy I defeated my opponent.” Usman Okanlawon

A bright young man and one wonders could he take the African continent to even greater heights than those currently being achieved by Egypt’s Omar Assar and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna?

Challenge Series 2019 Nigeria Open Usman Okanlawon

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Day 3 - 2019 iTTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open