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ITTF AFRICA CUP: QUADRI, EDEM CRASH IN FINALS, PICK TOKYO TICKETS

 

Edem Offiong
Edem Offiong

 

By Oluwole Francis

Nigerian duo Aruna Quadri and Edem Offiong were both beaten in the final of the 2020 ITTF Top 16 Cup their Egyptian opponents in Tunis on Wednesday.

Nigerian duo Aruna Quadri and Edem Offiong were both beaten in the final of the 2020 ITTF Top 16 Cup their Egyptian opponents in Tunis on Wednesday.

Quadri who defeated the defending champion Omar Assar 4-3 in the semifinal could not quite repeat the feat as he was beaten by Assar’s compatriot Ahmed Saleh.

While in the women’s final Dina Meshref also took the gold for Egypt as she continued her dominance in Africa with a straightforward 4-1 (11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6) defeat over Offiong Edem.

Saleh and Meshref have now qualified to represent Africa at the ITTF World Cup later in the year while Quadri and Effiong will make do with a place in the singles event at the Tokyo Olympics after Nigeria failed to qualify for the team event.

Aruna Quadri

Saleh, whose last major title was in 2012 defeated the number one ranked Aruna Quadri 4-3 (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3) to emerge as the new champion.

It was the veteran’s first win over the Nigerian in nine years and stretched his record to 7-6 in their head-to-head.

An elated Saleh said of his triumph: “I am very happy because I could not imagine that I will go past Aruna in this tournament. All I did was to focus from the first point to the end.”

The Egyptian veteran added: “I really don’t want to quit at 40 as I want to play until my body cannot do it anymore. I love table tennis and I will continue.”

Quadri had this to say after his loss: “it was an extremely difficult match for me, congratulations to him on the title, I tried my best but today was his.”

Reacting to her triumph, Meshref said: “When I started the competition, I just stayed focused, play my game and not think about how many times I had won it in the past. I must commend Edem because she is an experienced player who played extremely well. She changed tactic every time which sometimes make it difficult to play against her.”

 

 

 

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