Tournaments

01 Jul 2017

Saturday 1st July marked the opening day of the 2017 ITTF-Africa Cup in the Moroccan city of Agadir, and spectators were treated to high-quality action in the qualifying stage of the Men’s Singles tournament as the continent’s table tennis stars opened the contest for positions in the main draw.

by Simon Daish

Fifth seed Sami Kherouf is sitting comfortably in his qualifying group after picking up victories in both of his opening day encounters.

The Algerian contestant began his campaign with a strong performance against Ethiopian opponent Melese Habteyes (11-3, 11-5, 11-6) before prevailing over Tunisia’s Thameur Mamia (11-3, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9) to put Sami Kherouf on four group points by the day’s conclusion.

Quadri Aruna successfully booked top spot in his group after coming through his matches without conceding a single game.

Godfrey Sultan of Seychelles was the first competitor to taste defeat at the hands of the Nigerian star (11-2, 11-6, 11-6), and Quadri Aruna’s second positive outcome came against home player Abderrafiq Aguida (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).

Top seed Omar Assar also enjoyed a successful start to the tournament, and if today’s outing is anything to go by then the Egyptian could well be in line for a strong campaign in Agadir.

Defending Africa Cup champion Omar Assar registered multiple wins on Day One at the 2017 edition of the event, with Morocco’s Mohamed Krichel (11-2, 11-8, 11-6) and Cameroon’s Prosper Ndikum Asaah (11-5, 11-4, 11-6) providing the opposition.

One of the standout results of the day saw Nicholas Esther, who is appearing at the competition for the first time, edge his way to victory in a thrilling duel against Ethiopia’s Melaku Mindahun.

Despite the opening two games of the tie going in Melaku Mindahun’s favour, a tremendous comeback effort from Nicholas Esther followed as the player from Seychelles celebrated a deciding game triumph over the Ethiopian (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 7-11).

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2017 ITTF-Africa Cup Quadri Aruna Omar Assar Sami Kherouf Nicholas Esther
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