Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has successfully retained his title in the men’s singles of the 2023 ITTF African Championships after beating Ahmed Saleh of Egypt in the final match played on Sunday.
Aruna, who is the tournament’s number one seed, overwhelmed Saleh in the final clash with a convincing 4-0 win to hold on to the title he won last year in Algeria.
There were mixed feelings for Aruna in Tunis, having missed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket through injury at the same venue.
“I am happy with the title because I have a good and bad memory of Tunis, having got injured here during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification. Winning another title here is good to erase the bad memory. This win will remain with me for a long time. I am happy and I look forward to the next challenge,” the Nigerian said.
Meanwhile, Egyptian teenage sensation, Hana Goda, dethroned her compatriot Dina Meshref to claim the women’s singles title on the final day of action in Tunis, the Tunisian capital.
Two-time Africa Cup champion Goda was at her best against defending champion Meshref with another inspiring 4-1 win in the final encounter of the women’s singles.
An excited 15-year-old Goda described the victory as “special”.
“This is special, especially with the support from the Tunisian fans. I will cherish this for a long time to come,” she said.
Before the triumph recorded by Aruna, seven-time Olympian, Funke Oshonaike, partnered with rising star Fatimo Bello to claim the gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s doubles event on Saturday.
The feat made them the first Nigerians to win a gold medal in the fiercely contested tournament in Tunis, Tunisia.
The ITTF Africa Championship serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but the Egyptians dominated all the events, carting away multiple Olympic spots.
Oshonaike came out of retirement to participate in the women’s doubles alongside Bello.
The pair were up against Cameroonian player Sarah Hanffou and her teammate, Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby, in the final.
The event was not one with open qualification for the Olympics, and both teams only had the gold medal to play for.
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