ITF/CAT U-12 Competition: Nigerian Girls to miss final event in Morocco despite winning bronze

The Nigerian Girls were narrowly edged by the Beninese on Thursday. After losing 2-1 in their first match against the Togolese, the Girls’ team would go on to dismantle the Ivorians 3-0 in their second. All that was needed in their third and final match was a win; a 3-0 win would have ensured a smooth passage to the final events in Morocco, but it was not to be as the youngsters lost 1-2 to host nation, Benin.

These girls, however, for the determined displays they put up all week, certainly have the ticket to thrive.

The Coach, Abel Ubiebi speaking after the match, said: “Not so good we lost 1-2. The boys won silver, while the Girls won bronze. We are still proud of them. The future is bright for them if the right things are done.”

The Nigerian contingent strike a pose with their trophies and medals after the ITF/CAT U-12 African Junior Teams’ Competition in Benin on Thursday.

So hungry for success, but not being able to make it to the final events in Morocco was hard for the girls, as it would be for any determined group of youngsters.

“They were down, not happy, even crying before the end of the match. They could not imagine that they won’t be in Morocco later this year,” the Coach said.

“They really tried. Lack of tournament experience. Other countries played as much as they want. Hopefully they’d get more tournaments to prepare with next time,” the coach stressed, when asked what about the reason for defeat.

Despite the narrow defeat, there were positives to take from their outing in Benin. According to Coach Ubiebi, the Girls gained “new friends and more experience.” Certainly, ones that will see to their speedy development.

The team of youngsters depart from Benin this morning, with a lot to take with them. Surely, the future of Nigerian tennis is bright, although the real hard work begins from here.

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