ITTF Africa Cup: Nigeria Secure Podium Finish As Egypt crowned Champions
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Omar Assar reign supreme in Lagos, becoming the new African Champion after a tough encounter with fellow Egyptian, Ahmed Saleh in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup.
It was a grueling 4-3 (10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 12-14, 11-3, 9-11, 11-3) victory over Ahmed Saleh. The two Egyptians ranked second and third respectively in Africa obviously made Lagos their home and showed why defeating Africa number one, Aruna Quadri and number 8, Kherouf Sami was no fluke.
It was another Africa Cup final for Egypt’s Omar Assar as he claimed an important 4-1 (11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 11-3) victory over arch-rival Aruna Quadri in the semi-finals to move to the finals.
While Ahmed Saleh dispatched Algerian, Kherouf Sami 4-2 (7-11, 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 2-11) to move to the semi-finals.
It’s been 9 years since Ahmed Saleh last won an African men’s singles title. Saleh had said it was good that the finals was between Egyptians and that’s what was more important and not him.
“Most important thing is that the final is to Egyptians, I hope I can win but it doesn’t matter because the gold medal will yet go to Egypt.” He said.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Dina Meshref made it a hat-trick of African women’s singles titles after a dominant 4-0(11-9, 11-9, 11-1, 11-8) victory over compatriot, Helmy Yousra.
Dina Meshref who emerged women’s singles champion with a flawless victory after a routine 4-1 victory over Edem Offiong, the last Nigerian in the women’s singles.
However, Nigerian’s duo of Aruna and Edem settles for the bronze medals in the men’s and women’s singles respectively, thereby securing a podium finish for the host nation.