The ITF/CAT West and Central African Junior Individual and Team’s Championships will get under way on Monday, 6 January, in Togo, and the players representing Nigeria at the event have been announced.
Idris Mohammed, winner of the boys under 14 SNEPCo Futures Championship last year, Ganiyu Mubarak and Maxwell Joshua will lead the charge for top honours in the boys 14 and under category, while the girls 14 & under category comprises the talented trio of Serena Teluwo, Salamatu Haruna and Esther Oni.
Suleiman Ibrahim, Canice Abua and David Dawariye make up the boys 16 and under team. Ibrahim and Dawariye are the reigning SNEPCo Futures and CBN Junior Open boys under 16 champions, respectively, while Abua, 15, claimed Gold at the National Youth Games and secured his first ITF Junior title at the NTF International Junior Championships last year.
Marylove Edwards, who also won the girls singles title at the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja, in November last year, will also represent Nigeria at the event. The 14-year-old, alongside rising stars, Oiza Yakubu and Rebecca Ekpeyong will compete in the girls 16 and under category.
Yakubu, 14, posted good runs on the ITF Junior Circuit last year, including quarter-final showings in Grade 5 events in Accra, Ghana, and at the NTF International Juniors in Abuja, while 15-year-old Ekpeyong was a semi-finalist at the NTF International Juniors in November last year.
The team, which will be coached by Abel Ubiebi and Wunmi Ogunsakin, will leave for Togo Sunday morning. The individual competition begins on Monday — Thursday, before the team event commences.
Caoach Ubiebi, ahead of the trip, noted that Nigeria is a big contender when it comes to tennis in West Africa, and having finished second last year, he is hoping for a better outing this time. “My expectations will be to do better than last year,” Coach Ubiebi said.
The competition, which is organized by the Confederation of African Tennis in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation and Fédération Togolaise de Tennis (FTT), with the support of the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF), will take place from 6 – 14 January at the Stade Omnisports Eyadéma & AAT Tennis Club in Lome, Togo, and has all countries in the West and Central African regions invited to participate, with each nation entitled to send a team comprising a maximum of 12 players—3 boys and 3 girls each for the 14, 16 & Under categories.