By OLATUNJI MARIAH
Having watched Egypt claim three titles ahead of them in the ITTF Africa Senior Championships, Nigeria showed their quality in the men’s doubles as the pair of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola fought back to retain the men’s doubles title.
Pairing for the first time in a major championship, the partnership of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola conquered the Egyptian pair for Nigeria to hold on to the title won in 2015 by Aruna Quadri and Kazeem Makanjuola.
The Nigerian duo defeated El-Sayed Lashin and Ahmed Saleh 4-2 to give Nigeria its first gold medal in the one-week championship holding in Agadir, Morocco.
An elated Toriola said: “For us winning this title is very good because I had said earlier that it is a must for us to win this doubles title. But I must also tell you that it was not an easy match because the match was strange to us in all departments. Also our opponents are very experienced players and clever, so we are so excited claiming the first gold medal for Nigeria in this competition.”
For the women’s doubles, Egypt’s duo of Dina Meshref and Yousry Helmy won the title ahead of their compatriots.
Meshref described the win as special, “Winning the doubles title this year is very special because this is the first time I am partnering Yousra Helmy, who is my cousin and I think we played very together as doubles partner. The absence of players from Congo Brazzaville and Nigeria may have taken the shine off the event but what is most important is that we have won for Egypt,” she said.
Meanwhile the paring for the semifinal of the singles event will see Aruna Quadri going up against experienced Ahmed Saleh and it will be an Egyptian affair in the second semis as Omar Assar battles El-Sayed Lashin.
In the women’s pairing Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike will face Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz while defending champion,
will battle compatriot – RAHMO Aida for a place in the final.