There is celebration in the Nigerian camp at the ongoing ITTF-Africa Senior Championships in Cairo following the triumph of Quadri Aruna and Makanjuola Kazeem who emerged champions in the Men’s Doubles event.
The duo of Quadri and Makanjuola beat their compatriots, Ojo Onaolapo and Jide Ogindiolu to secure their first ever major international doubles title. Countries can present more than one set of players for the team events, and either way the trophy could have gone Nigeria’s way.
The newly crowned champions are happy about their new feat even as they confessed that their compatriots were no pushovers in the final match.
“We were so calm during the match and when the match was 2-2, we changed our tactic and we were also lucky to win the sixth game because we were leading 10-5 and they met at 10-10. So it was nobody’s game. Aruna and I have been partnering ourselves as junior players and we played the doubles at the 2013 Kuwait, Qatar and Spanish Opens. So we are used to each other,” Makanjuola told the official ITTF website.
On his part, Aruna stated that the biggest hurdle en-route winning the doubles’ title was in the semifinals when they defeated their fierce Egyptian rivals.
“I think the semifinal match against the Egyptians was our best match in this doubles event because it was our never-say-die attitude that helped us to come from 3-1 down and leveled 3-3 before finally winning the match. So in the final, we were used to our opponents and when the game was 2-2, we decided to calm the game and ensure that we secure our victory. I am happy that we are wining our first title as doubles partner,” he said.
In the women’s cadre the Congo Brazzaville partnership of Han Xing and Onyinyechi Nwachukwu secured the crown by beating the defending champions, the Egyptian partnership of Nadeen El-Dawlatly and Dina Meshref.