Nigeria’s Tonye Sawari on Saturday emerged champion of the 2022 Knights Men’s Épée Satellite Fencing Tournament following a 15-11triumph over Moyosore Babalola.
In a keenly-contested final at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, both fencers were running neck to neck just before the first break as Babalola led 6-5.
The final three minutes saw a rejuvenated Sawari, who turned the heat on his compatriot as he led for the first time 8-7 with the clock counting down at 1min.57seconds.
Three more consecutive points saw Sawari widens his advantage to 11-7 with about 80 seconds remaining; and by the time it was 15 seconds left, he has put a daylight between himself and his opponent with scores at 14-9 and both scored a point each just before the sound of the buzzer for a final 15-10 scores.
Sawari, while celebrating his victory, stated that, this is a dream comes true for him because as at two months ago all those he defeated at the championship were beating him effortlessly in training.
“I’m so delighted to be the winner here today and I thank my family and the federation for their support”. He went home with a gold medal and $500 as prize money.
Silver medalist Moyosore Babalola got $200 while Nigeria’s Iyinoluwa Babarinsa and Djibril Affo-Mefi of Togo who were bronze medalists got $150 each.
Nigerian Fencing Federation President, Adeyinka Samuel expressed delight at the successful hosting of the championship which also featured kids as part of side attractions to commemorate the September 10 World Fencing Day.
Samuel stated, “This is another landmark in the history of Fencing in Nigeria as it marks the very first time a championship of this magnitude is hosted in sub Sahara Africa.
“Let me categorically say that Fencing has come to stay in Nigeria as there has been consistent growing of interest in the sport over the past few years.”
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