by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Straight games successes were the order of the day as Quadri Aruna, the top seed, to the delight of the fans assembled in the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, beat Bulgaria’s Yavor Andreev (11-2, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7).
Likewise, showing not an ounce of charity, Li Ping, Ahmed Al Saleh and Sanil Shetty all ended the hopes of Nigerian qualifiers. Li Ping, the no.3 seed, beat Michael Obayomi (13-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-5); Ahmed Ali Saleh, the no.6 seed, overcame Abayomi Animasahun (11-5, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4), whilst, in a similar vein, Sanil Shetty, defeated Gbenga Anthony (11-5, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8).
Comprehensive wins but for one noteworthy name there was a tough encounter. Romania’s Alexandru Cazacu, the no.14 seed, needed the full seven games to end the hopes of Nigeria’s Abdulrahman Abdullahi (5-11, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6).
A testing encounter and there testing encounters for Taiye Hassan Jimoh and Tobi Falani when facing fellow Nigerians. Both having finished in first places in their respective groups; Taiye Hassan Jimoh eventually overcame Taiwo Mati (11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5),Tobi Falani withstood a brave effort by Sunday Odunlade (3-11. 11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7) before emerging successful.
Meanwhile, the top half of the draw, for the remaining seeded players, there was success and success for the host nation. Bode Abiodun, the no.9 seed, beat Cameroon’s Prosper Ndikum Asaah (11-2, 11-1, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5), Ojo Onaolapo, the no.15 seed, overcame Italy’s John Oyebode (6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).
Similarly, not to upstaged by African colleagues, Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu accounted for Nigeria’s Olasunkanmi Ogini (11-7, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).
The second, third round and quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 12th August.