On African record, Olufunke Oshonaike remains the most successful female table tennis and in her 40s, she is still relevant as she is aiming to set another record soon.
But the Germany-based Oshonaike would forever relishe every moment of her participation at the annual Asoju Oba Cup.
Apart from bringing her to limelight, it was at the tournament that the former African Champion got her first television set after claiming the women’s singles title in the 1990s.
“I cannot quantify the impact Asoju Oba had on my career. It is one of the competitions in Lagos where good players emerge and I could remember vividly that it was the television set that I won at Asoju Oba that was the first TV set in my house. Most of us looked forward to the tournament because of the numerous gift
items that the sponsor used to dole out to players. We could not imagine missing the competition and it became part of our plans every year.
“Apart from the tournament, the late Chief Okoya-Thomas was a father to all of us players because he gave his all to us. He was passionate about the sport and particularly he showed love to the players as most of the players that used to take part in the competition were from poor home. So through this competition, we got
gift items that we probably would not have gotten in life,” the 2017 African Champion said.
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Oshonaike however lauded the family of the late business mogul for keeping faith with the tournament three years after his demise. “I must commend the family of chief for not stopping the tournament because it will help to unearth new talents for the country while it gives local players the opportunity to test their strength
against one another,” she added.