Nigeria’s Men’s table tennis team defeated Egypt to end a ten years wait to win the 2018 ITTF-African Championships. The win was a first for Nigeria st the championship since 2008 in Kinshasa.
Nigeria regained the Men’s Team title at the 2018 ITTF-African Championships in Port Louis, Mauritius on the evening of Wednesday 5th September when Aruna Quadri led the team to their first African Championship title in ten years.
Egypt had won the last four Gold medals until now and were always going to be tough.
A 3-1 win was recorded against Egypt in a contest which was arguably closer than the score-line may suggest. With all three victories for the champions elect recorded in full distance five games duel.
Quadri Aruna set the ball rolling for Nigeria, when he beat Ahmed Ali Saleh (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-2). Before Mohamed El-Beiali levelled matters by overcoming Bode Abiodun (12-10, 11-9, 11-4)
Then experience came into play when Segun Toriola, beat Khalid Assar (13-11, 1-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) to turn the tide in favour of Nigeria. In the last match-up Quadri Aruna recovered from a two games to one deficit to beat Mohamed El-Beiali (5-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6) to seal the title.
Meanwhile, it was the exact opposite in the Women’s team finals. Offiong Edem, Olufunke Oshonaike and Janet Offiom suffered a three matches to one defeat to an Egyptian team led by Dina Meshref with Farah Abdel-Aziz and Yousra Helmy providing invaluable support.
Success for Nigeria means they have now won the Men’s Team event at the African Championships on 11 occasions; they close the gap on Egypt who have 12 times; no other country has ever donned the crown. Moreover, they now qualify for the 2019 Team World Cup to be staged in Tokyo, Japan.