26 Oct 2016

The Mixed Doubles competition at the 2016 ITTF-Africa Senior Championships will see Egypt's Omar Assar and Dina Meshref attempt to defend their title against Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria, following a successful day for the 2015 champions.

by Simon Daish

Starting in the Round of 16 the defending champions Omar Assar and Dina Meshref registered a victory over Keegan Lingeveldt (RSA) and Danisha Patel (RSA), before picking up their second 3-0 win in a row beating the Tunisian duo of Adem Hmam and Safa Saidani in their quarter-finals encounter.

However, Omar Assar and Dina Meshref did have to negotiate a difficult semi-finals match with fellow Egyptian compretitors Khalid Assar and Yousra Helmy, with six games being required to find a winning partnership.

The opening two ends went to the top seeds Omar Assar and Dina Meshref with the pair looking set to achieve another comfortable win, but then the match began to heat up as Khalid Assar and Yousra Helmy brought the tie level with two consecutive game wins of their own.

Both pairs kept up the intensity of the fight with a place in the final up for grabs, yet only one team could progress from the top half of the draw and victories in games five and six will give the combination of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref a chance to defend the trophy (11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Following the outcome of the semi-finals Dina Meshref said that she is in exciting anticipating of teaming up with Omar Assar, but is well aware that a tough challenge awaits the duo in the final:

“It was not an easy match because Khalid knows his brother’s (Omar’s) weaknesses and this made it a bit tougher. I can conclude that it was a nice match. We are in the final against two of Africa’s most experienced players, Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike. I am so excited playing against these top players, I look forward to an exciting match and I hope we can retain our title” – Dina Meshref (Egypt).

African Championships Omar Assar Dina Meshref