No fewer than seven Nigerian youngsters will be starting their quest for a gold medal when the J4 ITF tournament serves off today in Lome, Togo.
This comes after Wilson Igbinovia won the first leg, a J5 event, last weekend, without dropping a set, and Marylove Edwards, leading the pack in the Girls event before losing out in the finals.
The Nigerian youngsters will have stiffer oppositions this week, as the level will be a bit more competitive, but they’ll be buoyed by their first leg performance.
Usman Kushimo, Emmanuel Jebutu, Joseph Jimoh, David Dawariye, Fortune Joseph, all from Nigeria, are in the Main Draw for the Boys’ event while Oiza, Ohunene Yakubu and Destiny Okhinaye join Edwards in the main draws of the female category of the J4 competition.
Hosts Togo also have a number of players in the Main Draw of the tournament and, alongside players from other parts of the world, will be battling the Nigerian talents for a podium place finish.
While Igbinovia will confront (almost) the same set of players at the event, and try to get into the top 300 in the world, Edwards will have to be at her very best as she is now the number two seed behind Chinese top seed, Yichen Zhao, ranked 319 in the world.
Interestingly, Zhao will battle Nigeria’s Ohunene Yakubu in the first match while number two seed, Edwards, will slug it out against Im Garba from Benin Republic.
Jebutu, Dawariye and Wilson, all seeded players, are hoping to prove why they are top ranked players at the J4 competition, and consolidate on their ranking spots as the year gradually comes to an end.
As is the tradition, Nigeria Tennis Live will keep monitoring the activities of the players in Togo, and report to our audience scattered across the globe.