by Simon Daish
Both sets of finalists had only dropped two games in the category prior to the final, with Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola and their rivals El-Sayed Lashin (EGY) and Ahmed Saleh (EGY) both registering 4-2 victories in their respective semi-final encounters on the previous day’s play in Agadir.
The final itself enjoyed an exciting start with both pairs jostling to establish a substantial lead in the tie; Aruna and Toriola struck the first blow with a positive opening game display, but then the momentum appeared to shift sides as Lashin and Saleh won the following two ends to move 1-2 ahead.
Aruna and Toriola were part of the Nigeria side which lost out to Lashin and Saleh’s Egypt in the Men’s Team final, but two days on from that result and it was the Nigerian duo who were left smiling after they secured three games in a row against their Egyptian opponents to take the Men’s Doubles crown (11-8, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5).
Following the conclusion of the final Toriola stated that he was delighted to give his country its first trophy at the 2016 ITTF-Africa Senior Championships:
“For us winning this title is very good because I had said earlier that it is a must for us to win this doubles title. But I must also tell you that it was not an easy match because the match was strange to us in all departments. Also our opponents are very experienced players and clever, so we are so excited claiming the first gold medal for Nigeria in this competition” – Segun Toriola (Nigeria).