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SPORT: Squash takes centre stage at Ilorin Youth Games

A Nigerian Tunde Ajagbe playing against an opponent in Canada. Nigeria’s U-17 squash players will have the opportunity to showcase their talent in the National Youth Games in Ilorin

The game of squash rackets will be one of the focal points in Ilorin, when the Kwara State capital hosts the National Youth Games between September 7-17. It’s the third in the series of the games.

Squash Federation President, Boye Oyerinde, said all technical officials needed for the sport have undergone intense scrutiny and training and will soon hit Ilorin for the games that will feature U-17 in the male and female categories.

“Almost all the states of the federation are expected to take part in the squash event, which he said would be used to groom new talents for the sport in the coming years. I can assure you that squash will never be the same again as all stakeholders are united in the drive to take the sport to new heights,” he declared.

Meanwhile, BritionTom Ford and Nigeria Yemisi Olatunji have both won the maiden edition of Chamberlain Squash Open titles after thrilling finals at Lagos Country Club.

PSA world number 165, Tom Ford picked up the crown of the inaugural championship after a hard earned four games victory over Nigeria’s Babatunde Ajagbe. The Briton who was impressive throughout the event proved a little too much for Ajagbe in the final with an 11-6, 11-9, 11-2 and 11-5 win.

Ford earned his berth in the decider courtesy of wins over Tittah Jimmah, Lanre Abdulrahman and Femi Shedara. Ajagbe who is ranked 206 on the PSA world ranking started brightly against Ford but faded out as the Englishman’s will and determination came to the fore.

A much focused Ford settled quickly and took the first game at ease 11-6.  There was an immediate response from Ajagbe in the second game. Both players now playing good squash but it was Ajagbe who opened the gap moving from 4-all but winning the game second game 11-9 (11mins).

Ajagbe responded as he took the initiative in the third racing to an 8-2 lead. Some features of the match were long punishing rallies, great retrieving by both players and Ford’s effective use of the lob to vary the pace of the games.




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