Defending champion Taiwo Akanbi failed to hold on to the title she won in 2021 after she was humbled by Aisha Rabiu in the final of the Dr Efunkoya Cadet Table Tennis Championship which ended at the National Stadium in Lagos.
The three-day championship has 64 boys and 37 girls competing in five events while Victor Joseph of Kogi State emerged as the new boys’ singles champion after he defeated Tobi Adebakin 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-8).
Akanbi, a regular in the final of the tournament, met a different Rabiu in the girls’ final as both players have been familiar in previous tournaments. But this year, it was Rabiu that had the upper hand despite going 6-11 in the fist game. A pep talk from her coach and father was what Rabiu needed to turn the tide against Akanbi as she ended the reign of the Lagos state cadet champion with 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 to record an overall 3-1 win and crowned the new girls’ champion.
An elated Rabiu described the win as the biggest of her growing career while attributing the victory to the support and technical input of her father coach.
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