29 Aug 2017

Winner of the Men’s Singles title at the recent 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open, Egypt’s Omar Assar, who also won in 2014 and 2015 when the tournament was a member of the ITTF World Tour, is already planning his 2018 return.

Three appearances, three titles and no defeats, it is a quite remarkable record; extending the record is undoubtedly a source of motivation but there is also another reason why he is delighted to return to Lagos.

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!”

2017 ITTF Challenge Lagos (Nigeria) Omar Assar

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Day 3 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open

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