Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Nigerian TT star still in top form

Published:Friday | September 29, 2023 | 12:10 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Nigerian Adeniyi Akindele has continued his fine form with a comprehensive win at the recent Jamaica Players Table Tennis Association (JPTTA) tournament held at Excelsior High School. Taking each match in the giant round-robin event one at a time, Akindele cruised home the winner and took the $20,000 top prize. Behind him, there was a raging battle for the runner-up spot.

“The matches, I tried to take it one at a time. It was a good turn-out, most especially for the younger players, for the junior players,” the 35-year-old Nigerian reflected with regard to an event sponsored by LASCO Financial and Bluesun Limited.

Akindele, a compact righthander with a strong forehand topspin, won a LASCO Financial JPTTA event staged at the Pembroke Hall Community Centre last year. After that win, he continued his successes on the local circuit.

Well-known coach Selvin Smith emerged to take second place ahead of tournament organiser and JPTTA founder Roger McKenzie and left-handed junior player Joel Lamm.

Asked how he has maintained his good form, the champion remarked, “Give thanks to God and everything is due to constant training. Never stop training, either tournament or no tournament, you keep training.”

He believes the round-robin format has helped the youngsters. “I think it was an experience for them. For me, it was more like a warm-up match, but it was a good one because it was more like what everybody, all table tennis players, had been praying for, tournament, tournament, you know. The tournament came and it was good,” he underlined.

Then he added, “It was a good win for me.”

Lamm, a fast combative lefthander, caught Akindele’s eye. “That’s a good player, you know. Whenever I play him, I always tell him where he needs to work on. I think he’s upcoming and he still needs to work on so many things, but I tell him whenever I see him,” Akindele submitted, “but trust me, he’s a good player.”