by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Although from a rival African country, the support he has received from the local fans has surpassed anything he has previously experienced.
“Lagos has been a good ground for me and I cannot stop coming to the Nigeria Open because it has always being a good experience for me, particularly with the kind of support I always get from the fans. Winning this year, I feel very wonderful again.” Omar Assar
Success in 2017 and in the final it was success against a most unexpected adversary. In the title deciding contest he beat India’s unheralded Sarthak Gandhi (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8).
“The competition is very special for me because it is being hosted in Lagos. The fans in Lagos have been very supportive to me. In Lagos, I need to ensure I play very well because many people are waiting to see me win the title. From the start of the tournament, there have been a lot of improvements among the Nigerians and Egyptian players. Also, I am particularly thrilled with the performance of the Indians.” Omar Assar.
Success for Omar Assar this year but not for the host nation’s hero, Quadri Aruna; he was beaten in the third round of the Men’s Singles event by compatriot Bode Abiodun (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9).
“Quadri Aruna and others played really well. However, I am always proud whenever I play Quadri in the final of any major event. It helps to promote the sport in Africa.” Omar Assar
So in 2018 could it be a Men’s Singles final between Omar Assar and Quadri Aruna; that would create some atmosphere!”