AFG launches Sky Bridge complex in New Capital    Dahab Development opens reservation for ITC project at New Capital    Egypt is Canada's top trading partner in Africa: Ambassador Louis Dumas    Hope Givers Foundation honours Egyptologist Ali Abu Dashish    EJB forms new board, pledges to support national economy    Travel bans due to Omicron "hammer blow" to South Africa's local economy recovery: official    Egypt celebrates Day of Mediterranean    MICO entertainment platform enters Egyptian market    Health Ministry advises public to adhere to protective measures to tackle Omicron variant    Art D'Egypte concludes 4th contemporary art exhibition "Forever is Now" at Giza Plateau    Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo to launch exhibition highlighting Arab-Austrian ties    Egypt, Israel sign deal sign MoU to increase gas supplies, hydrogen transport    Egypt's stocks end week in green as benchmark EWX 30 surges 0.69%    Mortada Mansour sets road map for Zamalek, after normalization committee depart    I seek to secure stable financial sources to build strong judo team: Motei Fakhr El-Din    Egyptian karate players dazzle world in UAE    Orascom Construction joins consortium to develop Egypt's first green hydrogen production facility    Egypt's high committee to organise COP27 convenes to review preparations    98 potential candidates run for Libyan presidency    'Lake Victoria – Mediterranean' navigation corridor awaits feasibility studies, funds: official    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Palestine's Foreign Ministry rejects UK's decision to designate Hamas as terror group    Egypt selected to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022    Number of British tourists to Egypt seen hitting 500,000 this winter – envoy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Top of the table
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 01 - 11 - 2016

In the men's events of the African table tennis championship, Omar Assar claimed the gold medal after beating his Nigerian opponent Aruna Quadri 4-3 in an epic final. The Nigerian's efforts of becoming the continent champion failed as he fell 4-3 to the defending champion in an entertaining final.
An elated Assar told Nation Sport after the match, “It was really a crazy match because against Aruna it's always very exciting. I think I gave my 100 per cent concentration and I was listening more to my coach, Helmi Ashraf. I think Aruna played very well because he was always changing service and he was more aggressive on his forehand. I am so happy retaining the title and I hope I can play better than this in future tournaments,” Assar said.
The Egyptians succeeded in reclaiming the men's team title they lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship in Morocco.
The encounter had the quality expected of it and the players gave the fans something to cheer throughout the match with Quadri showing his worth against the Assar-led Egyptian side.
The trio of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist Quadri matched their Egyptian counterparts strength-for-strength, and it was the same Mohamed Al-Beiali who lost the final game at the 2015 African Games to give Nigeria a 3-2 win in Congo Brazzaville but who saved the day for the North Africans as he came from 2-0 down to beat veteran Segun Toriola 3-2 to throw the Egyptian fans into ecstasy in the 3-2 win.
An excited Ahmed Saleh said: “We knew from the start of the match that Segun Toriola is a dangerous player and we planned that we could take the lead 2-1 and hope that Omar Assar will defeat Aruna Quadri in the fourth game. Unfortunately Omar Assar lost and we were confident that Al-Beiali will deliver and I am so happy that he did it for us. This victory is sweet because that was our main mission in Morocco, to reclaim our men's team title which we lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville. I am so happy that I am part of this team and I will cherish this victory for a long time.”
The victory recorded by the Egyptian women against Tunisia was not as sweet as the win the men's team had over the Quadri-inspired Nigerian side.
Dina Meshref lost to her Nigerian opponent Olufunke Oshonaike 4-2 to claim the silver medal in the women's singles event. Oshonaike reclaimed her long lost African title at the ITTF African Senior Championships after beating Egypt's Meshref in the final.
The Egyptian has been unbeaten in the last two years, but Oshonaike with her experience confused the young North African to emerge as the new continent number one star.
Following her victory, Oshonaike said she was happy that her experience was very handy against the Egyptian. To emerge as the new African champion, Oshonaike won (7-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11).
A joyful Oshonaike said: “I knew it was going to be tough because being the African champion and she has been unbeaten in the last two years. I just told myself to go out there and have fun and show my experience and when it started working I gained more confidence. But when the match was 2-2 my coach Toriola told me not to give up and I kept on going and it worked for me at last. This victory means a lot to me that I can still become African champion despite my age. It shows that nothing is impossible regardless of age in as much as you put your mind at it. I am so happy despite the challenges of making it to Morocco. I feel great and I am so excited that I can still do it and this is also an inspiration for girls that no matter your age, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to in life,” she said.
However, Meshref clinched two gold medals when she teamed up with her colleague Yosra Helmi in the women's doubles event and with Assar to win the other gold in the mixed doubles event.
The pair of Assar and Meshref of Egypt retained their mixed doubles title after beating Nigeria's duo of Toriola and Oshonaike.
The match was a clash between youthfulness and experience with youth prevailing over experience as Assar and Meshref overwhelmed the Nigerians 4-1 to hold on to the title they won in 2015.
A satisfied Meshref said: “I must admit that it was a bit difficult for us winning this title last year because we played the pair of Olufunke Oshonaike and Aruna Quadri in the quarter-final and Congo Brazzaville's Han Xing and Saka Suraju in the semi-final. But this year, getting to the final was hard and the final was not as easy as the result because we played against two of the most experienced players in Africa.”
For Toriola, playing against the youngsters was a bit difficult. “From the beginning I knew it was going to be hard for us because Oshonaike was worried and when it comes to rallies we cannot withstand them because Oshonaike is a defensive player,” Toriola admitted.
Meanwhile, Egypt's Khaled Al-Salhi was handed another four-year term at the congress of the ITTF Africa at the Bi-Annual General Assembly (BGM) held in Agadir, Morocco.
Al-Salhi, who became the president of the second largest continental body under the ITTF, was elected unopposed while Henry Djombo (CGO), deputy president; Olabanji Oladapo (NGR), vice president of administration; Hajera Kajee (RSA), vice president of marketing; Berte Abou Bakary (CIV), vice president of finance; Monqid Hajji (MAR), vice president of media and public relations; and Balla Lo (SEN), vice president of technical matters were all elected unopposed.
In his acceptance speech, Al-Salhi pledged to lift the fortune of table tennis in the continent while calling for more support from national associations. “I am highly honoured to be considered for another term in office and I want to thank the congress for their trust and support. We are so ambitious for the future hoping that we can focus on development and marketing of the sport so that we can continue to grow the sport in Africa,” he said.
Countries that staged major competitions were also honoured for their efforts.
Over 18 national associations graced the BGM while the congress also commended Morocco for their efforts to stage a befitting ITTF Africa Senior Championships.
For 2017, Tunisia will host the African Junior and Cadet Championships in April while Congo Brazzaville is considering hosting the ITTF African Cup and Club Championship in July.

Clic here to read the story from its source.