Team Nigeria finished first at the 2019 World Scrabble Championship in Goa, India to remain the best country in the game. 

With 11 representatives in the championship, Nigeria finished with the average rank of 23.6 to retain the Best Team trophy.

The average rank came from the score of the individual Nigerian players at the championship. 

How Nigerian players fared

Playing in his first World English-Scrabble Championship, it was Ebonyi State whizkid Enoch Nwali that finished the highest of any Nigerian at the championship with a fifth-place finish.

Nwali delivered the best individual performance of Nigeria’s 11-man team that included African and reigning Nigerian champion Wellington Jighere, reigning African champion Moses Peter and double African champion Dennis Ikekeregor.

The 22-year-old never fell below the top 10 all through the championship and at a point competed for the number one spot with Nigel Richards, one of the most successful Scrabble players of all time. 

The Nigerian, however, lost 437-425 to the New Zealand-Malaysian Scrabble player but still managed to nick a fifth-place finish. 

Enoch Nwali lost to Nigel Richards but managed to snag a fifth-place finish (Facebook/Kenneth Ezaga)
Enoch Nwali lost to Nigel Richards but managed to snag a fifth-place finish (Facebook/Kenneth Ezaga)
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The other Nigerian in the top 10 is Quickpen Been from Bayelsa who managed a 10th-place finished after recovering from a poor middle sector showing. 

Eta Karo finished 11th after also recovering from a horror start to power up the standings.

Next was Olatunde Oduwole who finished 12th after maintaining a top-five position until the fourth round when he came up against Nigel in a top-of-the-table clash.

Emmanuel Umujose and Ikekeregor both from Delta State finished 16th and 23rd respectively but the biggest shock came from former world champion Jighere who endured his poorest ever showing at the world championship with a 30th-place finish. 

Former world champion Wellington Jighere finished in 30th place
Former world champion Wellington Jighere finished in 30th place

Akwa Ibom pair Nsisak Etim and Moses Peter, finished 31st and 36th respectively, while Bukunmi Afolayan, the only woman in Team Nigeria finished in 58th place. 

Nigel Richards beat American player Jesse Day in the final to win the title for the fifth time. 

Leaderboard for Nigerian players

4th - Enoch Nwali - 21 wins and 11 loses (1103 - cummulative)

10th - Quickpen Been - 20-12 (+1244)

11th - Eta Karo - 20-12 (+1185)

12th - Olatunde Oduwole - 20-12 (+1071)

16th - Emmanuel Umujose - 20-12 (+367)

23rd - Dennis Ikekeregor - 19-13 (+646)

25th - Oshevire Avwenagha - 19-13 (+424)

30th - Wellington Jighere - 18-14 (+845)

31st - Nsisak Etim - 18-14 (+717)

36th - Moses Peter - 18-14 (+397)

58th - Bukunmi Afolayan - 17-15 (-221)