Gabriel Olufunmilayo and Busayo Olatunji upturned the form books by beating prime seeds Samuel Kehinde and Rofiat Abdulazeez to claim the titles of men’s and women’s champions at the inaugural Rernco Squash Tournament.
The thrilling finals of the tournament were held at the prestigious Ikoyi Club, where Olufunmilayo, having already bested second seed Onas Adegoke in the semifinals, offered a sterling performance to secure the first two sets with scores of 12-10, 11-4.
Kehinde, unyielding, retaliated by winning the third set 11-5, but Olufunmilayo remained indomitable, regaining command of the game and triumphing in the fourth set 11-6.
The women’s final bore a similar narrative as Olatunji displayed a dazzling form, propelling her to a 3-1 victory (11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5) over Abdulazeez. Both winners walked away with $1,000 and other prizes.
Rerhe Idonije, the Founder and CEO of Rernco Sports Academy (RSA), expressed her pleasure at the successful tournament. She extended her gratitude to Ikoyi Club, Zenith Bank, and Nigeria Breweries, Nestle, among others, for supporting the tournament.
“The objective of RSA is to promote squash as a leading sport in Nigeria while simultaneously using sport as a platform to provide a meaningful life for young boys and girls,” she commented.
Zenith Bank’s DGM and Group Head of Retail Banking, Lanre Oladimeji, pledged the bank’s commitment to the advancement of squash and sports in general across Nigeria.
“As a responsible corporate organization, we see our involvement in sports as a privilege. Sport is an avenue to promote peace and unify people globally, and we are delighted to be part of any sporting events,” he said.
Boye Oyerinde, the President of the Nigeria Squash Federation, stated that the introduction of the Rernco Open will significantly contribute to the growth of squash in Nigeria. Oyerinde was delighted at the presentation of a router to the Federation by Tizeti, an internet service provider, which he said would be used to stream international tournaments to help arouse the interest of Nigerian players to excel globally.