Nigerian Defeats World Scrabble Champion

Olatunde Oduwale of Lagos State on Sunday emerged winner of the 2016 Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship with 19 wins and 1,856 points.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the National champion, Oduwale was decorated with a green jacket, given a plaque, a trophy and a cash prize of N150,000.

Wellington Jighere, the world scrabble champion, who came second with 19 wins and 1180 points, won a cash prize of N100,000.

Oduwale defeated the world champion, Jighere with 676 points to become the 2016 national champion.

Rex Ogbakpa came third with 17.5 wins and 938 points to take home a cash prize of N50,000.

On the state level, Delta State dethroned defending champion, Kano State, to become the 2016 best scrabble state and win N100,000 and a trophy.

While speaking , Oduwale attributed his success in the championship to “the Grace of God and consistent hard work”.

“There are lots of dedicated scrabble players that have equal opportunities to win as well, but I think God favoured me; so I was lucky and I played well.

“Jighere lost his first game today while I won my first game with a very wide margin; he was leading with two games and a cumulative of 1,379.

“He lost scandalously on table one with about 250 points and I won on table two with 179 points; so with this, I leaped ahead with the cumulative to win the championship,’’ he said.

While presenting the trophies, Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, the Director, Federations and Elite Athlete Department, Ministry of Youth and Sports, expressed appreciation to Suleiman Gora, President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation for developing the game.

“I appreciate the president because in spite of the hard times, he was able to put together this championship because of his passion and determination to qualitatively engage the youths.

“On behalf of the ministry, I am here to say thank you to him, encourage him and urge him to continue to partner with others to promote the sport,’’ Akinyemi said.

Gora, in his remarks, thanked God for a successful championship.

“When you start something and you get it done successfully you thank God; it was a wonderful outing.

“It is my ambition to make sure that whatever programmes we plan for the year, we follow them through,” he said.

Gora said the next thing in line for the federation was to prepare seriously for the world championship scheduled to hold in France in October.



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