By Aderonke Ojediran
Organisers and sponsors of the first Bolatito Adeyemo Squash Classics on Wednesday applauded the skills displayed on opening day of the tournament by the top rated players in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament served-off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, with eight male and eight female top seeded players.
The players played the best of three games in a round robin format.
The top eight seeded in the men’s category are: Onaopemipo Adegoke, Gabriel Olufunmilayo, Kehinde Samuel, Abel Shedrack, Faruq Sulaimon, Samson Ashade, Dominion Utukpe and Temiloluwa Adegoke.
In the women’s category, the top seeded eight players are: Rophiat AbdulAzeez, Busayo Olatunji, Blessing Isaac, Favour Utukpe, Mistura Durosinlorun, Udeme James, Titilayo Akinleye and Jadesola Olatunji.
However, Olatunji, Utukpe and James were unavoidably absent, and were replaced with Dupe Faniyi, Bisi Adeleke and Idowu Ogunyemi, who are next on the national ranking list.
Femi Adeyemo, son of late Bolatito, described the quality of play as impressive, and hoped that the tournament would continue next year.
” I’m really impressed, one is never sure what to expect. A few upset here and there, which is good for the development of squash. I’m sure by tomorrow we’d even see more impressive games.
” The truth is Seun Jayeola put this tournament together in honour of my late mother because she was like a grandmother to him.
” This is Seun’s way of cherishing her even in death. So only Seun can tell if it’s going to be continuous or a one off,” he said.
NAN reports that Adegoke, the number one ranked male player who recently won his first Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournament, defeated Utukpe 2-1, gathering nine points at the end of the robin.
Shedrack gathered six points, while Ashade and Utukpe had two points each in group A. In group B, Olorunfunmi had seven points, Samuel had six points, while Temiloluwa and Faruq had four and one points respectively.
Seun Jayeola, the sponsor of the tournament who was rated number three in his playing days, said he was happy watching the players.
” This has brought back good memories of when I was a player. This beautiful game has improved tremendously. I’m amazed by the crop of players we have now. They have the potential to rule the world.
” God willing I intend to keep this going. This is a legacy in honour of mama. She often referred to me as her last born.
” I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I know it will be thrilling as well. The semi finals and final promises to be fun for the spectators. Viewers will be treated to the best of squash,” he said.
In the women’s category, AbdulAzeez gathered nine points, Durosinlorun pulled five points, while Adeleke and Faniyi had two points each in Group A.
In Group B Isaac had seven points, while Olatunji had six points. Akinleye had five points, while Ogunyemi had no point.
Idowu Enimakure, the Tournament Director, said the essence of selecting only top seeded players was to give squash enthusiasts premium squash experience.
” I’m not disappointed with what I’ve seen here today, we wanted the best eight players male and female and they have given us a classic performance.
” A good match is an unpredictable match, and that was what the players gave their fans. Tomorrow’s match will be even better,” he said.
Adegoke will play against Samuel in the semi-finals while Olufunmilayo will settle a score with Shedrack.
For the ladies, AbudulAzeez will play against Olatunji while Durosinlorun will take on Isaac in the ladies semi-finals. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko