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Scrabble: Winning gold at African Games, a dream fulfilled, says president

The President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Olobatoke Aka, has said that winning gold at the just concluded 13th African Games was a dream fulfilled.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria emerged champions at the maiden African Games Scrabble tournament in Ghana after finishing top in the women’s category.

Aka told NAN on Thursday that the milestone achievement at the Games was a journey of over 30 years of hard work.

He expressed satisfaction with the performance of his players, adding that finishing top of eight African teams at the games was commendable.

“It was indeed a keenly contested mind game that saw our players showcase their word power against hundreds of other scrabble players in 27 rounds.

“The encounters unpacked a lot of upsets and surprises as the eight English-speaking countries—Nigeria, Liberia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Sierra Leone—battled to qualify for the knockout stage.

“After the thrilling games, we emerged winners in the women’s category, while we qualified to face eventual champions Uganda in the semi-finals of the men’s category,” he said.

Uganda, however, claimed the ultimate prize in the men’s version with an upset against some of the continent’s powerhouses.

Scrabble was featured at the Games for the first time, but as one of the demonstration sports at Africa’s version of the Olympics.

NAN reports that the turnout of the semi-finals left scrabble enthusiasts in shock as Uganda defeated favourites Nigeria 5 1⁄2 games with a cumulative spread of +95 to get to the final.

Kenya claimed the bronze medal after 5 wins, as Nigeria finished in the fourth position with 3 1/2 wins and 5 1/2 with a cumulative spread of -95.

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However, Nigeria ruled in the female category after 6 wins and 3 losses, with a cumulative spread of +325.

Kenya finished second after 3 wins and 6 losses, with a cumulative spread of -325.

Zambia won the bronze medal after 9 wins with a cumulative spread of +1104, while Ghana ended up in the fourth position, losing all nine matches with a cumulative spread of -1104. (NAN)

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