In a thrilling finale of the second edition of the Prime Atlantic Squash Tournament on Saturday, Onaopemipo Adegoke and Rofiat Abudulazeez emerged as the victors in the male and female categories, reasserting their dominance as Nigeria’s top-ranked players.
Kicking off on October 31 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, the tournament featured players competing in the best of five games.
In the women’s final, Abudulazeez displayed remarkable prowess by defeating Blessing Isaac with a score of 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, securing a 3-0 aggregate victory. As a reward for her outstanding performance, Abudulazeez received a cash prize of N150,000. She shared her thoughts on her victory, stating, “This tournament wasn’t easy; everyone played at their optimum level. Blessing was great today even though I won.”
In the men’s final, Adegoke faced a strong challenge from Gabriel Olufunmilayo, who took the lead with a 1-0 advantage in the first set. However, Adegoke displayed remarkable resilience, ultimately winning the match with a 3-0 aggregate score of 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 1-11, 11-5 in a hard-fought 58-minute battle. His triumphant performance earned him a substantial prize of N220,000, and he expressed his determination, saying, “I can never be tired of winning; it is something I work and train hard for. As long as I put in the work, I deserve to win. Gabriel is tough, definitely not a pushover.”
In the junior boys’ category, Shuaib Giwa of Kwara secured a decisive victory against Ayomide Yusuf, winning with an aggregate score of 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 in just 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in the junior female category, Aisha Abuduraheem triumphed over Zainab Ishola with a score of 11-6, 11-1, 11-9, resulting in a 3-0 aggregate win within 19 minutes.
Ayo Otuyalo, the Chief Executive Officer of Prime Atlantic, commended the players’ improvement and skills, particularly highlighting Adegoke’s self-confidence: “I’m so impressed with what I have seen here today compared to the maiden edition; this is really highly competitive, and I’m so impressed. Adegoke is an exceptional player; his level of confidence as a player is top-notch. It doesn’t matter if he’s losing a set; his comeback is always mesmerizing. It’s such a delight to watch him.”
Boye Oyerinde, the president of the Nigeria Squash Federation, praised the Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA) for organizing a Professional Squash Association (PSA) world ranking tournament for players. He emphasized the importance of such events for player development and world rankings, stating, “The matches were impressive. I’d like to commend the leadership of LSSA headed by Tomi Falase and Prime Atlantic for putting this together for players. It’s not just about the cash prize, but it’s also about going up in the world ranking. Kudos to Prime Atlantic, and we hope to see more of this tournament in the near future.”
Notably, the tournament’s prize money of N2.6 million was distributed to players who reached the round of 32 and 16, a significant departure from previous editions where only the winner and two runners-up received rewards. Tomi Falase, the head of LSSA, expressed gratitude to the sponsors, Prime Atlantic, for their continued support, adding, “We’d be looking forward to more fruitful partnership.”