Hostilities at the ITF/CAT African Junior Championship qualifiers got underway on Monday in Lome, Togo, with some interesting showdowns on the cards as Team Nigeria seek to impress for yet another year.
In the Girls’ 16 & Under, rising star, Marylove Edwards opens her account in Lome in the second round, having received a first-round bye. The 13-year-old, who clinched Gold in the 14 & Under category last year, will take on either Massitan Coulibaly of Mali or Marie-Stella Tsawlassou of Benin Republic.
Similarly, Rebecca Ekpeyong got a bye in the first round, and will look to get off to a good start when she lock horns with either Kekeli Adjiwanou of Togo or Mali’s Coumba Diarra, while Mary Udofa kick-starts her campaign in the first round, taking on Ghana’s Lawrencia Aghorghorbia.
In the 14 & Under category, Iye Onoja, seeking to better her last year’s performance where she reached the second round, will first have to get past Beracah Atana of Cameroon in the first round.
Oiza Yakubu and Serena Teluwo will open their accounts in the second round, having both received first-round byes. Yakubu will play either Yayra Mckorley of Ghana or Togo’s Mafiza Kapo, while Teluwo takes on Rosaline Akombo of Cameroon, who also got a bye in the first round.
In the Boys’ 16 & Under category, Usman Kushimo, who won gold in the 14 & Under event in 2018, and seeking to match that feat this year, will kick-start against either Cameroon’s Fodjo Arthur Ghomsi or Thiemokodjan Diawara of Mali in the second round.
Like Kushimo, Matthew Abamu also received a first round bye and will face the winner of the Leo Besou (Gabon) versus Edem Cadassou (Togo) contest. Meanwhile, Nigerian-British, Mukhtar Andu opens up against Jonathan Atana of Cameroon.
In the 14 & Under, Suleiman Ibrahim takes on either Lorenz Ghomsi (Cameroon) or Boris Kouadio (Ivory Coast), having got a first-round bye, while Mubarak Ganiyu and Joshua Maxwell do battle with Abubakari Yakubu-Lea of Ghana and Togo’s Morningstar Dussey, respectively in the first round.