The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has described the death of the Italy-based Nigeria international, Seun Ajetunmobi, as shocking.
Ajetunmobi, born on Oct.10, 1985, died on Thursday in Lagos as a result of gas explosion.
Anderson Bankole, a board member of NTTF, speaking in Lagos noted that the federation had lost one of its key players.
The former technical director of NTTF also said that he was surprised and perplexed when he received the sad news of Ajetunmobi’s death.
“We have lost a key player in the table-tennis family.
“Nigeria has lost a very good, vibrant and committed player in the person of Ajetunmobi.
“It is really painful because rather than celebrating this young boy, we are mourning him,’’ he said.
Bankole said that the late Ajetunmobi was never found wanting as a national player in and out of season.
He was always making himself available whenever we needed his service for major tournaments, he said.
Also, a table-tennis coach with Lagos State, Samson Ajayi, said that the player exhibited impressive performances as a national player in his life time.
“I got the news hours ago and called the brother to the late Seun who confirmed the sad development.
“The deceased started well and exhibited impressive performances as a national player in various championships he featured at singles and teams’ events.
“These stood him out among his peers,’’ he said.
Ajayi also described Ajetunmobi as a humble, respectful and focused player.
“His lifestyle was a reference point used in counselling young players in the country.
“There is not much to say.
“Ajetunmobi is dead and it is painful, especially, for those of us that were part of his sport life as a national player.
“We encourage young players to emulate his attributes,’’ he said.
Tosin Oribamise, a national youth table tennis player described the late Ajetunmobi as a nice person, caring, loving and generous to young players.
“He was always taking the advantage of his off season to visit home and support up-and-coming players.
“NTTF has lost a star player.
“I cannot describe brother Ajetunmobi enough because he was a good person and supported young players in his little way, we will miss him,’’ Oribamise said.
Faith Bazuaye, a Para-Table tennis player said that was “it was unbelievable that Ajetunmobi is dead, he was a friendly, kind hearted and an easygoing player.”
“We will really miss him because he was a friendly person and encouraged us whenever he was around.
“He was always training with us in this Lock Hall whenever he came home,’’ Bazuaye said.
Ranti Lajide, a certified table-tennis umpire, said that Ajetunmobi was a dedicated player and contributed his quota to table tennis development.
“It was a shock to hear that Ajetunmobi died on Thursday night.
“He was a player that had paid his dues and left a footprint that will always speak volume of him,’’ he said.
Ajetunmobi won the last Aso Cup Table Tennis Championship held in Abuja in May.
He was part of the Nigerian table tennis team at the last All Africa Games, held in Congo Brazzaville in 2015.