by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success for Olga Kulikova, in the immediate ensuing contest, it was success for Dina Meshref; she somewhat upset the odds.
The no.3 seed, she accounted for Hungary’s Sandra Pergel, the no.2 seed, in six games (16-14, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-5).
It was for both Olga Kulikova and Ganna Fardalanska very much new territory; first round exits had been the outcome for both in recent events on the ITTF World Tour. Last year in Belarus, each had negotiated the qualification stage but had advanced no further; earlier this year it was the same in Slovenia for Ganna Fardalanska and in Zagreb at the ITTF Challenge Croatia Open for Olga Kulikova.
Meanwhile, for Dina Meshref and Szandra Pergel, history was somewhat different. On the ITTF World Tour in 2014 and 2015, Dina Meshref had reached the semi-final stage in Lagos, in the latter advancing to the final, whilst in 2013 in Cairo, she had likewise emerged successful in the penultimate round. Alas on both occasions the runners up spot had been the eventual outcome.
Somewhat similarly, Szandra Pergel had experience of ITTF World Tour penultimate round contests; she had reached the semi-final stage on two occasions.
In 2012 she had emerged successful in Croatia and Belgium; furthermore, both times she had progressed to win the title.
Now five years later in Lagos at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open, the sequence ended; the bronze medal was her lot.