By Neha Aggarwal
Men’s Team event finals is finally here. Egypt versus Nigeria is one of the most exciting matches of the championship. On 26th October at 6:oopm in Agadir, Morocco, the 2016 African Champion in Men’s team event will be crowned
Both the teams are equally strong. Nigeria lead by world number 25 Quadri Aruna and number 109 Segun Toriola possess a trait that not many do. They simply refuse to give up. They are highly experienced and fight till the end. Thus, they prove to be an extremly hard opponent, irrespective of the rankings.
Nigeria’s Segun Toriola believes that the team is ready for the challenge. He said, “I think it is going to be a 50-50 match because they (Egypt) are nervous having seen what Quadri Aruna did at the Rio Olympic Games. With the present form of Aruna because he has been playing with a lot of confidence and this is very important. We are ready for them because it promises to be an exciting match.” He further revealed:
“I could notice that they have started fidgeting by asking whether Bode Abiodun will join the team in the final. They knew the quality of Bode Abiodun and I believe we will try our best to show our superiority over them in the final.” – Segun Toriola (NGR)
Egypt, on the other hand, lead by world number 57 Omar Assar and number 150 Lashin El-Sayed also possess a unique trait. They are fearless. They are young and courageous, and thus prove to be a hard team to play against. Omar Assar seemed prepared ahead of the final clash against Nigeria in the men’s team event. He said, “We knew from the start of the competition that we will meet Nigeria in the final and so we have prepared well for them. The Nigerian team is a very strong side with the presence of Segun Toriola and Quadri Aruna who are both playing very well lately.”
“We have learnt from our mistakes at the 2015 African Games when we were leading 2-1 to lose 3-2. The Nigerian side never gives up and they always fight till the end. I also trust my teammates because they are all in good shape and our philosophy is that we all fight for the team and this is what we are taking into the final against Nigeria.” – Omar Assar (EGY)
Both the teams have their eyes on the title and the match to be played at 6:00pm local time is expected to be a neck-to-neck thriller.
The Egyptian women on the other hand are undoubtedly the favorites to win the crown. The team lead by Dina Meshref, currently ranked 120 in the world, has more than one reason to be confident. Dina is fresh off from the Seamaster 2016 Women’s World Cup where despite losing her match against Gerogina Pota (HUN), she played phenomenally well and thus went back home gaining invaluable experience and confidence. Other members of the team, especially Yousra Helmy , Farah Abdel-Aziz are young and have enormous potential to deliver when needed.
As far as rankings are concerned, Tunisia is far behind Egypt, however, the girls from Tunisia are thrilled to make it to the finals and should give in their best.
The match will be played at 4:30 local time.
The big question- Can Egypt win both Men’s and Women’s Team titles, will be answered on Wednesday 26th October 2016!