Tokunbo Adesanya of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) defeated Zhang Zhenghua in the men’s singles final of the Chinese-Nigeria NUJ Table Tennis Tournament on Saturday in Abuja to retain the overall championship.
Tomilola Adedeji, also from NAN, defeated another NAN player, Abdulateef Origbajo, for the bronze medal in the men’s singles.
In the women’s singles final, Chioma Love of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) defeated Confidence Nduagwuike to grab gold, while China’s Gong Xiang Mei came third.
The duo of Adesanya and Adedeji also emerged winners for NAN in the men’s doubles, beating Zhenghua and Sun Sai Xiong in the final.
China’s Zhenghua and Xiang Mei won the mixed doubles final against Love and Gbenga Omokhunu, while Xu Hai Tao and Mo Zheng Jun settled for third place.
Adesanya said he was happy to help NAN retain the trophy it won in 2018.
“For us as NAN contingent to come first in this tournament shows the agency’s capacity in sports.
“We have demonstrated once again that NAN leads, not just in news and coverage but also in sports,” he said.
The tournament was organised by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) with support from the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in Nigeria and Leadership Newspapers.
NAN also reports 62 participants registered for the tournament in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles categories.
They were drawn from over 30 chapels of the NUJ, as well as embassy staff of the PRC.
Li Xuda, Cultural Counsellor of the Embassy of PRC in Nigeria, told reporters that the event was a social avenue to cement Nigeria-China relations.
“This tournament started in 2017 and as you can see, it affords Chinese embassy staff and members of the NUJ an opportunity to interact and share ideas.
“Through this kind of friendship, our two countries’ bilateral ties can further be enhanced,” he said.
Huda, who is also the Director, China Cultural Centre, added that he was surprised at the table tennis talent and skills displayed by NUJ members especially against the Chinese.
On his part, Emmanuel Ogbeche, FCT Council NUJ chairman, stressed in symbiotic importance of such event.
“This tournament is about fostering cooperation and promoting sportsmanship. We also see it as an avenue to foster media synergy.
“I must commend our members who participated in the tournament; they have shown that inspite of the demanding nature of their job, they still engage in sports,” he said.
Ogbeche said the NUJ was looking at replicating the idea in other areas and with other foreign missions.
Abdul Gombe, Group Managing Director of Leadership Newspapers, told NAN that his organisation was proud to be associated with the event.
“We are more than happy to partner the NUJ and Chinese Embassy on this very noble event.
“We have a relationship with the embassy, so when they asked us to be partners of this tournament, we grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” he said.
Medals and smartphones were presented to winners, runners-up and third-placed players in the four categories.
In addition, a trophy was presented to the overall winner.