*Embassy donates two table tennis boards to NUJ
Onasanya Henry of the Information chapel of the FCT NUJ at the weekend took on the much expected Adebola Sunday of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and created an upset to win the maiden edition of the Chinese Cultural Centre sponsored one-day table tennis championship.
Highly rated Victor Iroele of SilverBird and Mike Obasi of Hot FM were quickly dispatched when they met the Chinese Embassy teams in the earlier rounds. The two ranked players were amateurishly placed in the same side of the pairing.
Adebola Sunday expectedly won the first set with overwhelming smashes. While the second set was won by a more calculative but slower Onasanya Henry. The third and final set was more of diplomatic teasing with Onasanya using a noisy crowd to displace the NTA representative to emerge a 2-1 winner.
The third placed went to Adedeji Tomilayo who also caused an upset to win 2-0. He belonged to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mr Lin Jing, the Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese embassy told the audience, “table tennis is the most popular sport in China and that is why Aruna Quadri is a household name due to his exploits in the sport in our country.
In the 70s, this sport opened the doors with America after two decades of lull. It was called ‘ping pong diplomacy’ that is the power of sports. Nigeria’s passion for sports is well known in China. For instance, I have known Nigerian athletes even before my posting to Nigeria.
Today, there are more Nigerian football players and basketball players in China who command cult hero status. We need more sports ambassadors from Nigeria in China. We shall exploit all opportunities to expand the relationship and cultural bridge among our nations.
He donated two sets of table tennis with its appurtenances to the FCT chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Also with him during the ceremony are the Cultural Counsellor and Director of the China Cultural Centre Mr Li Xuda and Counsellor Zhou Xikang.
Leadership newspaper’s Group Managing Director Abdul Gombe said in his remark, “we are happy that we have been able to use the window open to us to make these developments and relationship with China possible. We intend to expand and build on this in years to come. This table tennis event will remain a major annual face of this relationship. He thanked all the 18 chapels of the NUJ that participated in the event.
The chairman of the FCT NUJ Council, Paul Ella Abechi in his closing remark thanked his colleagues for their spirit of sportsmanship in the table tennis event. He thanked the Chinese embassy for the donation of the table tennis boards which he feels will contribute to well being and health fitness of the members of the union.