FestivalofTT2022: Nigeria smashes Ghana in 'jollof war', emerges regional champions

Nigeria has reaffirmed her regional dominance in West Africa after double wins against Ghana and Ivory Coast in the regional qualification.

The victorious Nigerian teams.

The match between Nigeria and Ghana was the centre of attraction at the ongoing Festival of Table Tennis on Thursday at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Two of West Africa's sporting giants went head-to-head on day one of the 2022 edition with hosts, Nigeria, convincingly coming out tops in both the men's and women's categories.

Nigeria Table Tennis stars led by Azeez Solanke, Matti Taiwo, Fatimo Bello and Aminat Fashola proved to be just too good for their counterparts from Ghana after a 3-0 win for each during their matches in the World Championship Regional qualification.

"It wasn't easy," Solanke told Pulse Sports moments after he sealed victory for Nigeria. "I know what I felt on the table. It was not that easy but we made it. I think we are older and that gave me a lot of confidence going into the game."

Nigeria has emerged as the best table tennis nation in West Africa after seeing off Ivory Coast in the Men's final and Ghana in the Women's.

Nigeria defeated the stubborn Ivorians 3-2, while the ladies saw off Ghana 3-0 in one of the Jollof derbies at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall at Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The day started with the quarter-final pairings in the morning session. In the Men's category, Nigeria tackled Guinea while their women counterparts received a bye.

For Ghana, they faced the Benin Republic and their women's team also received a bye.

Nigeria didn't waste time to see off Guinea in their last eight encounters while Ghana was pushed to the limits by Benin.

With the game tied at 2-2, the star player for the Ghanaians, Commey Emmanuel easily dispatched his opponent in the final and decisive fifth game to give Ghana a 3-2 victory that sealed the Jollof date with Nigeria in the last four.

In the end, the Jollof war was an easy 'chow' following a 3-0 win for the men, while the women's team defeated Ivory Coast in the semi-final before also seeing off Ghana 3-0 in the final.

Meanwhile, in the other men's semi-final clash, Ivory Coast and Togo were at each other's neck for over an hour before the Ivorians prevailed 3-2 to seal their ticket to the final.

Omeh Amadi showed incredible character to come from the dead to lead Nigeria to victory in the keenly contested final against Ivory Coast.

Amadi kicked off proceedings at the Okoya Hall with a 3-1 defeat to Oba Oba Kizito to give the Ivorians a 0-1 lead.

However, Nigeria bounced back to tie to game at 2-2 before the talented Amadi recovered from his defeat in game one to lead Nigeria to a deserved win after a 3-0 win over Kanate Ali in the decisive final game of the day.

With the win, Nigeria has booked her place in the World Championship final in Algeria.

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