Nigeria has improved its chances of a memorable quest at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She did that after picking a wild card ticket in the wheelchair tennis event. Alex Adewale grabbed the slot after he emerged a champion in an Olympic qualifying tournament held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
National Wheelchair Tennis coach, Frank Tarmena stated that Adewale had earlier in August shone brightly in the Salzburg Open in Austria. The win led the International Tennis Federation (ITF), to jerk Nigeria’s wild card to three from its previous single slot. Adewale took his impressive form to the next level and rose to the top three in the domestic stage and the ACSA Johannesburg Open which took place at the Selbourne Park Tennis Stadium in East London where he won all his five matches to clinch the title at the expense of 24 other players who represented 14 countries. Although he was unable to repeat the feat in the second leg which was the ACSA Border Opens that took place at the University of Johannesburg Tennis Club where he lost in the second round, he however left the tournament with his head high after he partnered a South African to win the doubles in the ACSA Border Open.
Adewale returned to Nigeria on Tuesday evening and expressed satisfaction that he was able to achieve his dream of qualification despite the challenges experienced ahead of the championship. “It was like a miracle because I wasn’t sure of making it to the tournament because about two days to the start of the tournament I was still running around to get some money to spend but thank to coach Frank who rallied round to make sure that I did not miss the tournament,” he said.
The coach, Tarmena stated that he is optimistic Nigeria will get all the wild card tickets that the country is open to. The duo of Wasiu Yusuf who featured in Beijing 2008 and Jude Uwaize alongside two female players will be under intense preparations for the next qualifiers slated for February 2012 in Kenya.