National Sports Festival: Aregbesola knocks Oshonaike out of Tennis event

Oshonaike Toriola

The hope of Funke Oshonaike making up for Sunday’s shock exit in the Mixed Doubles of the Table Tennis event at the ongoing National Sports Festival has been dashed.

The six-time Olympian was dumped out of the Women’s Singles event on Monday by Team Lagos’ Nimota Aregbesola who battled to a 4-3 win.

Argebolsala, who considers Oshonaike as a mentor, burst into tears after securing the thrilling win over the veteran recruited to represent Akwa Ibom State at the ongoing Sports Festival in the Federal Capital Territory.

Before Monday’s exit, Oshonaike had told PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja that she was in to win the gold medal for Akwa Ibom who she admitted invested a lot in her.

The Germany-based table tennis legend had raised eyebrows about the organisational lapses at the ongoing sports festival; blaming same for Sunday’s painful loss to Team Oyo in the Mixed Doubles quarter-final.

Reacting to the defeat suffered in the hands of Team Oyo, Oshonaike said: “I guess that’s sports!!! But one thing I know for sure as a professional player is that after sitting down in the hall for more than 9hrs, waiting to be called on the table for your next match because there was no time schedule, there’s no way you can put in your best with the way things are here!”

“Our opponent played better, and we played with fatigue. It’s rather unfortunate. That’s gone now and I hope me and Segun can try harder to cope with the way things are here so that we can put a big smile on our sponsor and dear state Akwa Ibom.”

While Oshonaike could not get her groove back, Segun Toriola did that as he defeated Solanke Azeez of the FCT in his quarterfinal match.

Toriola won (8-11,11-8,2-11,9-11,11-2,7-11)

In the other quarter final games played, Matt Taiwo (Ondo) lost 2-4 to Ashimiyu Ganiyu (Bayelsa) (11-9,11-8,13-45,7-11,8-11,10-12)

In the last tie, Oladele Kehinde (Ogun) booked a place in the semifinal having secured a 4-2 win over Akanbi Rilwan (Delta) (10-12,7-11,11-3,11-4,12-10,11-5).

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