by Simon Daish
Farah Abdel-Aziz is one of three Egyptian representatives to end the opening day occupying first position in a qualifying group, following promising results against the second and third ranked players in her group.
Opening her account with a confident display against the host nation’s Imane Lemmanni (11-5, 11-3, 11-2), Farah Abdel-Aziz came through the day without dropping game after claiming a straight games victory over Islem Laid of Algeria (11-7, 11-4, 11-8).
The other athletes from Egypt competing in the competition are Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref.
Yousra Helmy secured top spot in her group with triumphant outcomes against Morocco’s Ines Outolla (11-3, 11-3, 11-4) and Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou (11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7), while the defending champion Dina Meshref saw off Zahira Khattab (11-3, 11-1, 11-2) and Katia Kessaci (11-8, 11-7, 11-9) of Seychelles and Algeria respectively.
African female table tennis legend Olufunke Oshonaike has got her campaign off to a solid opening, with the Nigerian claiming victories in both of her group stage matches.
The reigning Africa Senior Championships title holder proved too strong for Christy Bristol (11-3, 11-9, 11-5), and Olufunke Oshonaike sealed her place at the top of the table following a comfortable result against Fatima Zohra Mazigh (11-2, 11-2, 11-3) leaving the players from Seychelles and Morocco to fight it out between them for the runner-up position.
Offiong Edem also put in a decent performance as the Nigerian representative joined her fellow compatriot Olufunke Oshonaike in registering straight games successes in her encounters against Moroccan player Oumaima Bettache (11-7, 11-2, 11-8) and Tunisia’s Safa Saidani (11-7, 11-5, 11-6).