GHANA’S pair of Benjamin Palm and Ronald Totimeh failed in their bid to claim the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Junior Circuit Championships title as they had to settle for silver in the boys Under-18 doubles final event staged at the Tennis Arena at the Accra Stadium last Saturday.
The Ghanaians lost the final game 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 to Lethabo Malope (South Africa) and Philips Abayomi Oluseyi from Nigeria.
The singles event was won by Benin’s Sylvester Monnou who beat Frederic Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire, 6-3, 6-4.
Monnou, 17, who started the tournament on a good note, beat Camerounian Wamba Ngouadjio 7-6(2), 6-3 in the quarter finals, thumped Ghana’s
Johnson Acquah 6-1, 6-3 in the semi-finals before meeting Frederic Coulibaly in the final.
In the girls division, Barakat Oyiniomo Quadre from Nigeria defeated Egyptian Yasmin Ezzat 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to emerge champion to take home a giant trophy and souvenirs from sponsors as reward.
India’s Smirt Bhasin joined forces with Yasmin Ezzat (Egypt) to win the girls double ultimate after winning 6-4, 7-6 against siblings Linda Eloundu and Manuella Eluondu from Cameroun.
In an interview, president of the GTF, Mr Isaac Duah said: “I am very excited and elated that we have been able to host a world tournament here after 11-years. This is Under-18 junior development program focusing on the youth and our players have watched matches and they have learnt a lot from the tournament.”
“Our players did not win the ultimate but we have picked a lot of positives from this tournament, especially the ‘can do spirit’ which has been revived in our players as they watched their counterparts from other West Africa countries working hard to win laurels for their countries,” he added.
The one-week tournament organised by the Tennis Foundation Ghana (TFG), an NGO, under the auspices of the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) with support from Hollard Insurance, McDan Shipping Company and Babolat Sports Shop.
It brought together athletes from 10 other countries such as Great Britain, India, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.