Adegoke and Yemisi Crowned 1st Lekan Adewoye National Squash Open Champions
Yemisi Olatunji and Onaopemipo Adegoke are the first Lekan Adewoye National Squash Open champions after they claimed respective wins over Busayo Olatunji and Idowu Enimakure on Saturday.
Yemisi, the top seed lifted the PSA satellite tour trophy after producing a command performance to defeat Busayo in an all sisters final.
The 25-year-old, who won 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 took control of the match right from the start.
She comfortably took the first game before Busayo rallied to bridge the gap by winning the second game 11-5.
Yemisi, who never lost her focus was however made to work for every point before taking the third 11-9.
Busayo regained her composure in the fourth and won 11-8 to force a fifth game.
The fifth game strung along the crowd with each player battling out exhausting rallies. From 8-8, Yemisi pulled away to triumphed 11-8 to clinch the trophy and a big chunk of the $500 prize money.
Yemisi said: ‘’I must be sincere, am always excited playing my sister, even though she is one of my toughest and best rival in squash.
‘’She (Busayo) is amazing, though I didn’t see this coming but I know she is tough. At a point in the game I fell because I was shock by the level of skill she demonstrated.
‘’The secret of my consistent performance in women squash is sacrifice, dedication and focus. What you (audience) see as dominance, much of it was done behind the scene.
‘’I can’t say am happy and at the same time say am not happy, it is mix feeling because I lost to my sister (Yemisi) in the final.
‘’I didn’t know I will make it to the final because I have not been training due to school activities, but am grateful I made it and gave a good account of myself.
‘’Yes, the final was close but am not surprise because this is not our first meeting, Busayo disclosed.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, 19-year-old Onaopemipo Adegoke lived up to his billing to emerge as winner.
In the final, Onaopemipo outplayed Idowu Enimakure 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9.
Enimakure dominated proceedings in the opening game and was able to see the game out, winning 11-9.
Onaopemipo fought back to win the second, pulled away from the start to win it 11-5.
The former junior national champion came out firing in a captivating third game as he looked to avoid defeat in the final tournament, clinching it 11-4 and claim a crucial 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth game, Enimakure struggled in both energy levels and pace, as he fell twice in court.
Yet Enimakure, a dogged fighter, did find himself 5-3 down before tying it 9-9, but it was Onaopemipo who came out on top, closing out the match 11-9 to capture the title.
Onaopemipo speaks on his victory
‘’I feel so happy winning this tournament. I want to say a very big thank you to my sponsors, family and fans for all the love off and on court.
‘’I wasn’t surprise by my performance, even though I lost focus in the first game.
‘’I had to put myself together and dig deep in subsequent games to emerge as the winner. So hard work and dedication gave me this victory.
‘’I have been training hard to be the youngest Nigeria No. 1 squash player in the senior category.
‘’It takes some much to achieve it but am working towards it, Onaopemipo said.
On his part, Idowu Enimakure see his loss as a learning curve.
‘’I don’t lose, I learn. Last tournament we met in the final and I did not do too well because I had a tough match in the semi-final, no excuse.
‘’This time, I really wanted to prove myself, but I fall short again.
‘’I will keep working hard, watch this space, very soon I will be a force to be reckon with.
‘’I really want to thank the federation for all they are doing to keep the players in shape with all of this tournament.
The sponsor, Mr. Lekan Adewoye while expressing his appreciation to the federation said that the squash tourney lived up to expectation.
He further disclosed that players should forward to a second edition as he is committed to contributing his quota to the development of the sport in Nigeria.
‘’I was quite impress with the quality of skill displayed by the players.
‘’I want to appreciate the organizers (Nigeria Squash Federation) of this tournament for a job well done.
‘’As we all know in Nigeria, squash is lagging behind in terms of awareness and the attention that it deserve.
‘’We believe that this is one of the ways we can be part of the catalyst for change that can endanger the kind of players that can compete at the global level, that’s one of the reason why we are doing this.
‘’I think the sport has a future, what we just need is a situation where more people can support what the federation is doing. ‘’We intend to do this again next year (2020) and possibly up-scale it.
On his part, the Nigeria Squash Federation President, Mr. Boye Oyerinde said the federation will collaborate with corporate bodies and individuals to develop, grow and promote the game in Nigeria.
‘’You can see that the players are seeing the benefit of running a PSA tournament locally, unlike before, where they had to travel abroad to get the same point or nothing. Now our players are getting points locally, their ranking is improving on the PSA ranking chart.
‘’Last year, we only had about five circuit, as at today we have twelve, which is a form of growth for us.
‘’Now, sponsors are also seeing the benefit of the sponsorship, the level of the game is improving, the players are more appreciative and we have also been able to scale down on the excesses to ensure that sponsors get value for their money.
‘’We are doing a lot more publicity to complement what we are doing and we must a say thank you to the press for the media coverage.
‘’We will continue to seek more and more sponsorship and see how we can run a more effective programme.