11 Aug 2017

Second places in their respective groups in the initial phase of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos, the host nation’s Seun Ajetunmobi and Russia’s Vasilij Filatov were the somewhat surprise names to emerge successful, as play concluded in the first round of proceedings on the evening of Friday 11th August.

One day earlier Seun Ajetunmobi had finished next in line to Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, for Vasilij Filatov it was runners up spot behind Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Ready for the challenge, arguably nothing to lose; both accounted for Nigerian adversaries who had topped their respective groups.

Seun Ajetunmobi beat Olugbenga Azeez Jamiu (11-5, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6); in a somewhat closer contest, Vasilij Filatov ended the hopes of Olajide Omotayo (11-8, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 14-12, 11-5).

A close call for Vasilij Filatov but it was not the closest of the round; that distinction belonged to the host nation’s Nurudeen Hassan, eventually, he overcame Egypt’s Mahmoud Helmy by the minimal margin in the decisive seventh game (11-6, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 14-16, 11-13, 11-9).

Narrow margins but that was not the situation for the leading names on duty in the lower half of the draw as Nigerian hopes were thwarted.

Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.2 seed, beat Salako Oluyomi (11-2, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4), Finland’s Benedek Olah, the no.4 seed and defending champion, accounted for Olakunle Ajulo (11-4, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6. Likewise, Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, the no.5 seed, overcame Joshua Oladiran (11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 12-14, 11-7); Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali, the no.7 seed, ended the hopes of Kazeem Adenyi (11-2, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6).

Similarly, the next names in the order of merit in the lower half of the draw in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event all enjoyed success at Nigerian hands.

Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay, the no.10 seed, beat Sunday Akomolafe (11-4, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2); Egypt’s Khalid Assar, the no.11 seed, overcame Amadi Omeh (11-8, 5-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in a likewise fashion, Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.12 seed, halted the progress of Olayinka Aiyelumo (11-5, 10-12, 18-16, 11-7, 13-11), Hungary’s Marton Szita defeated Adeola Oloruntade (11-1, 11-8, 12-10, 11-3).

The second, third round and quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be staged on Saturday 12th August.

2017 ITTF Challenge Lagos (Nigeria) Seun Ajetunmobi Vasilij Filatov

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Day 3 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open

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