The ITF/CAT African Junior Championship Qualifiers concluded in Lome, Togo, on Tuesday, with the Nigerian team finishing third on the overall standings, following a fine campaign in the West African city.

The Under-16 boys won their category with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Togo on Monday. Canice Abua, David Dawariye and Suleiman Ibrahim pulled together strings of superb performances to clinch Gold and secure qualification to the African Junior Championships Finals, which will hold in Togo in April. In the Boys U14 category, Idris Mohammed, Ganiyu Mubarak and Maxwell Joshua secured Silver after finishing in second place behind Ghana in their category.

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L-R: David Dawariye, Canice Abua and Suleiman Ibrahim during the award presentation

In Tuesday’s action, the Under-16 girls lost their final tie to Cote d’Ivoire 3-0 and finished third in their category, while the Under-14 Girls, comprising Salamatu Haruna, Serena Teluwo and Esther Oni, ended their team campaign on a good note with a 2-1 victory over Ghana. The girls also finished third in their category.

Only the Boys Under-16 team secured qualification to the main African Junior Championships slated for April, given their top-place finish in their category.

Coach Abel Ubiebi, who led the team alongside Coach Wunmi Ogunsakin, noted that the players’ performance at the event was encouraging and despite the shortcomings, they were still able to “give other countries a run for their money.”

The team returns to Nigeria on Wednesday, 15 January.