It was all pomp and fanfare as the 17th edition of the Annual Merchant Express, Global Cargo, and Turkish Cargo Airlines Clubs Invitational, and the third edition of the PSA Tournament 2023 hosted by the Squash Section of the Lagos Country Club (LCC), Ikeja, came to a glorious end on Saturday, September 2.
The Squash Section of the Club was filled to the brim with Squash players, guests, and members of the Lagos Country Club led by the President, Mr. Seyi Adewunmi who came to witness the event.
At the end of the thrilling, energy-sapping encounters played on the main court, the following results were announced:
- Winner: Fred Udo-Akagha
- Runner up: Tunde Adewoye
- Joint 3rd: Mike Adekoya and Deji Sule
- Winner: Bunmi Apata
- Runner up: Haniel Hadison
- Joint 3rd: Mike Adekoya and Niyi Ibrahim
- Winner: Haniel Hadison (LCC)
- Runner up: Telema Princewill (PH)
- Joint 3rd: Olumide Sojinrin(Ikoyi) and Alex Akalogwu(Ikoyi)
- Winner: Bunmi Apata (LCC)
- Runner up: Clement Efakpokire (Ikoyi)
- Joint 3rd: Haniel Hadison (LCC) and Isaac Tareh(OAU)
Winner: Samuel Kehinde
Runner up: Onaopemipo Adegoke
Joint 3rd: Gabriel Olufunmilayo and Faruq Suleiman
Haniel Hadison beat Telema Princewill 3-2 (11/7,9/11,7/11,11/6,11/8)
Bunmi Apata beat Clement Efakpokire 3-2 (1/11,11/2,11/3,9/11,11/1)
Ladies Exhibition match
Mostura Durosinlorun beat Blessing Isaac 2-1 (11/8,6/11,11/9)
Men PSA final result
Samuel Kehinde beat Onaopemipo Adegoke 3-1(11/9,9/11,11/6,11/2
Some of the players spoke to The Podium International Magazine after the tournament. Kehinde Samuel Temitope, the winner of the PSA tournament who has been playing for over 10 years, said he felt good winning the tournament because “this is the kind of tournament I have been looking forward to winning since I started playing Squash. I was a bit skeptical to be honest but I planned to win, I prepared very well. Samuel, who is a final year student of the University of Lagos, said he looked forward to becoming a full time professional Squash player if there is sponsorship.
Adegoke Onaopemipo, the runner up said: “I feel bad losing because my aim was to come and emerge as the winner for the third time because I have won it twice, and my goal was to defend my title. Losing out in the final was a bit sad but I am glad I still made it to the final”.
“I have been playing Squash for over 12 years as a full time professional player. My experience has been good especially since the end of last year. I have been exposed internationally. I was in Kenya, India, Kuwait, and Zimbabwe. In Kenya, I emerged as the winner. I gained more exposure because I competed with the top 100 players in the world”. Onaopemipo, who is currently ranked Number 1 in Nigeria and 257 in the world, commended the organisers and sponsors of the tournament for the orderly, professional, and transparent manner it was executed.
The winner of the Men’s Invitational, Dr Olubunmi Apata of the Lagos Country Club, was excited to have beaten his opponent whom he admitted is good and played well. “It wasn’t easy, I had to dig deep. Apata, an Ondo State indigene, has been playing Squash since 2008. “The experience has been very beneficial. People don’t know it but Squash is the healthiest sport in the world. You don’t play Squash to be fit, you have to be fit to play Squash. Also, Squash is a gentleman’s game, so it is an avenue to meet quality and decent people. Playing Squash has been good for me”, he added.
Dr Apata praised the organisers and the sponsors. “We thank the sponsors for doing this over and over again. This is the 17th edition and I know what goes into organising events like this. We love and appreciate him, and want to appeal to him to continue to do what he is doing for Squash”, he added.
Hanniel Hadisson, winner of the Open Invitational, Veteran category who is the Commandant of the Customs Training College, who has been playing Squash for over two decades was delighted that he won a fiercely-contested game.