Home Nigeria 14th Cargolux Squash Tourney Ends, AS New Faces Emerge Winners

14th Cargolux Squash Tourney Ends, AS New Faces Emerge Winners

Since 2004 when it became a regular fixture in Nigeria’s sports calendar, the Cargolux  Merchant Express Squash Tournament has grown so much to the point that it attracts participation from contestants from all walks of life.

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If previous episodes of the tourney have pulled some weight in terms of attendance and participation, the 14th edition was even more phenomenal as the Lagos Country Club played host to one of Nigeria’s biggest squash championship’s in the past week.

Open to participants in different categories, including the age-grade, the competition won new converts, as well as new faces from across the country setting new standards with eye-catching prizes to boot.

This year’s edition which ended at the Squash Section of the  Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, over the weekend saw players display  skills, dexterity endurance and unmatched sportsmanship as they  challenged for honours in seven categories– the Super Veterans( Closed), Veterans(Closed), Veterans( Inter clubs), Men’s (Closed), Men’s (Inter club), the U-19 Boys, and  U-19 Girls .

The finals were a culmination of a gradual build-up as hostilities in the tourney reached a crescendo in the knock out rounds. The closed competition which is open only to members of the host club had set the tone for the week-long tournament with club veterans jostling for prizes.

The event’s tempo would go up several notches as the stage was cleared for the Open tournament to begin. Invited states, as well as the big squash compliant clubs from all over Nigeria, The age-grade teams, particularly the U-19 Boys and Girls were also not left out.

In the finals on Saturday, the duo of Rofiat Abdulazeez and Faidat Soliu, both from Kwara State had stoked the embers of excitement  as they took to the courts in a feisty  battle to determine who had the bragging rights to the best female squash player in the U-19 category  for 2018  as they thrilled an expectant audience of squash enthusiasts.

At the end, Abdulazeez would beat her opponent, Soliu to take home the top prize.
Next was the enthralling match-up of Michael John and Adegoke Onaopemipo which kept the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats.

In what would rate as the most exciting, suspense-laden match of the tournament, both  U-19 players from Lagos made a statement of courage, competitiveness, endurance, skill and sportsmanship as an appreciative audience lapped it all up.

The drama of a former champion, Onaopemipo willingly ceding the title to a dogged John, who though injured, did not want to give up, will go down as one of the intriguing highlights of the 14th edition of the  Cargolux Merchant Express Tournament in Lagos.

The ovation of the youthful display followed through to the next games in the Veterans and Men’s categories, the duo of Sahid Khan (UNILAG) and Niyi Olumide, also of UNILAG  won in classic styles, defeating Mike Nwabuzor (Ikoyi Club) and Dele Rafiu (Benin Club) respectively.

Olumide who resides in the United States was the cynosure of all eyes as he played what the fans would refer to as “a more refined squash”

Olumide would eventually be crowned the new Men’s champion, carting home a cache of sumptuous prizes which include a deep freezer, cash awards, a trophy and a medal around his neck.

Prizes were also awarded to winners who emerged in the closed tournament as well as third-placed finishers in all the categories. Present to add colour to the event were the President of the Nigeria Squash Federation, Boye Oyerinde, the tournament’s sponsor, Captain Oluwashina Akinfenwa, MD, Cargolux Merchant Express Nigeria, President, Lagos Country Club Tajudeen Akande, chairman of the Section Arc. Funmi Bamkole, and a host of other dignitaries.

Commenting on the  championship, Nigeria’s Squash Federation, President, Oyerinde said,
To say I’m impressed by what I have seen in this competition today is stating the obvious. It is an indication that the game of squash is not only an interesting sport, but it is the fact that it has gained widespread acceptance across a broad spectrum of society.

I have also been staggered by the level of organisation, the level of competitiveness at this particular edition of the Cargolux Merchant Express Tournament. I want to say to the sponsors well-done and keep it up, ” he added.

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