The highly coveted Gold Medal in the Men’s Singles of the Table tennis events at the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, was won by a debutant, 19-year-old Amadi Omeh representing Ondo state.
The urge for Gold medals at the Sports Festival in Table Tennis was accelerated by the Akwa Ibom state Sports Commission in Abuja when they flew in the duo of Segun Toriola and Funke Oshonaike from their base in abroad for a quest for Gold medals, unfortunately, the pair, who has a combined 13 Olympics appearances would only get one Gold medal out of the six available – Segun Toriola won the men’s singles title defeating Ganiyu Ashimiyu of Delta.
Delta went the way of Akwa Ibom at the 20th Edition when they invited Kazeem Makanjuola and Jide Ogidiolu, both based in abroad, for the coveted Gold medals, most especially the men’s singles title.
The Delta men’s team were less lucky as they couldn’t lay hold to a Gold medal in the men’s events but in their quest, veteran table tennis player Kazeem Makanjuola got to the final but lost to 19-year-old Amadi Omeh, who is playing in his first National Sports Festival.
Though Amadi was at the 18th and 19th Edition of the Sports Festival with Ondo state Contingent, he never played, he was less than 18.
Born in Abia State but raised in Abuja, Amadi, was introduced to the Sport by his elder brother, Timothy, who won two bronze medals in the wheel chair category in Edo.
Amadi’s prospect as a future great payer was exhibited at the ITTF World Junior Circuit (WJC) in Egypt in 2015, when he accounted for the 3-0 defeat of Egypt’s Marwan Abdelwahab in the cadet boys’ singles final.
The former national junior champion was part of the contingent to the 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, three years later at the final of the 2019 National Youth League, Amadi narrowly lost 3-2 to his compatriot, Taiwo Mati.
So much was not heard from Amadi ever since, so it would be difficult to ascertain his preparedness for the 20th National Sports Festival, regardless, who would have thought that the young lad could shine so bright amidst the array of stars that came far and near for the coveted Gold medal in the men’s singles.
Presented with a tough challenge draw, it was edge of the seat drama from the Quarter-final, defeating Ahmed Bello from Rivers, Amadi produced a sublime performance to stun one of tournament’s favorite Azeez Solanke popularly called perform (3-2)
It was expected that Kazeem Makanjuola should be in the final but what was never anticipated was Amadi Omeh at the other side of the table, what was more intriguing than the 19-year-old in the final is the manner of defeat the Italian based player suffered.
Amadi Omeh defeated Kazeem Makanjuola 3-0 to win the Men’s Singles title.
Back to his base in Ondo, much is now expected from the 19-year-old, who defied all odds
If the defeat of Six-time Olympian Funke Oshonaike by 19-year-old debutant, Nimota Aregbesola in 2018 is the headline of the Tabe Tennis Events at the 19th Edition of the National Sports Festival in Abuja, 19-year-old debutant, Amadi Omeh, winning the Men’s singles title is the headline of the 20th Edition in Benin City, Edo state.