12 Aug 2017

Gold for Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin in the final of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos when, the no.2 seed, she beat Hungary’s Bernadett Balint, the top seed, to arrest the title; a little over one hour later on Saturday 12th August, once again she was upsetting the ranked order.

Furthermore, she ended the hopes of the host nation.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publication’s Editor

In the final of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event she had emerged successful by the very narrowest of margins (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10); in the second round of the Women’s Singles event, she prevailed in a more comfortable manner.

Furthermore, she caused the one and only upset of the round. Required to negotiate the qualification stage, she beat Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike, the no.6 seed, in five games (5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 17-15).

Defeat for Olufunke Oshonaike, likewise in the second round of the Women’s Singles event, there were defeats for colleagues Fatima Kazeem and Cecila Akpan. Fatima Kazeem lost to India’s Mallika Bhandarkar (11-4, 11-2, 11-9, 11-3), Cecila Akpan was beaten by Hungary’s Bernadett Balint, the no.5 seed (11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4).

Success for Bernadett Balint as expected, it was the same in the remaining second round Women’s Singles matches.

Prior to the success recorded by Giorgia Piccolin, in the top half of the draw, Russia’s Olga Kulikova, the no.4 seed and Ukraine’s Ganna Farladanska, the no.7 seed, had both doused Egyptian hopes. Olga Kulikova had beaten Yousra Helmy (11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9), Ganna Farladanska had accounted for Amira Yousry (11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-2).

Meanwhile in the lower half of the draw, Dina Meshref, the no.3 seed, redressed the balance for Egypt. She overcame colleague Farah Abdel-Aziz (12-10, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9) and thus repeated the success enjoyed earlier in the year at the ITTF Africa Cup in Agadir, Morocco, when likewise she had recorded a straight games win.

A second round success for Dina Meshref; similarly Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, the no.2 seed and India’s Krittwika Roy, the no.8 seed, enjoyed second round wins.

Szandra Pergel beat India’s Reeth Tennison (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4); Krittwika Roy accounted for Russia’s Irina Ermakova (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7).

At the quarter-final stage Mallika Bhandarkar meets Ganna Farladanska, Bernadett Balint opposes Olga Kulikova; in the lower half of the draw Dina Meshref faces Giorgia Piccolin, Krittwika Roy plays Szandra Pergel.

The quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played later on the day.

2017 ITTF Challenge Lagos (Nigeria) Olufunke Oshonaike Giorgia Piccolin
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Day 3 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open

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