by Simon Daish
First For Nigeria
Quadri Aruna is well known for setting records and has accomplished a new landmark achievement in Czestochowa, becoming the first Nigerian competitor to win a Men’s Singles title at an ITTF Challenge Series event.
The Nigerian started the day off with a bright outing in the semi-finals, defeating the impressive Kazakhstan player Kirill Gerassimenko in straight games to progress through to the title match.
Opposing the top seed in the final was qualifier Kaii Yoshida, who caused a penultimate round upset with a positive display against second seed Benedikt Duda of Germany.
While the Japanese pen-hold grip specialist put up a brave fight in the final, it was not to be for Kaii Yoshida as Quadri Aruna came out on top across six games (11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12) to reach the top step of the podium.
Japan Secures Gold And Silver Medals
There was also success for the no.1 seeded contestant in the Women’s Singles category as Mima Ito claimed her second singles gold medal of 2017 at a recognised open international tournament and her first ITTF Challenge Series trophy of the year.
Defeating fellow compatriot Miyu Kato in a seven game thriller at the start of the day, Mima Ito reserved her spot in the final where she would face Saki Shibata in an all-Japanese encounter after the latter player emerged triumphant against the host nation’s Li Qian in the last four.
The two finalists fought out a close battle and the seventh seed Saki Shibata put in a highly respectable showing, but in the end it was Mima Ito who prevailed (11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 12-10) to continue her fine run of rich form.
Hong Kong Partnerships In Harmony
Prior to the two singles finals there was gold medal match action in the two doubles competitions.
Seeded second the Hong Kong duo of Ho Kwan Kit and Ng Pak Nam reached the top step of the medals podium in the Men’s Doubles category, recovering from a game down to beat India’s Harmeet Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh (10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9).
Hong Kong also secured the trophy in the Women’s Doubles tournament as the top seeded partnership of Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching edged to a deciding game victory over Japan’s Miyu Maeda and Miyu Kato (6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7). However, the Japanese pairing can leave Czestochowa with their heads held high, reaching the final against the odds having entered the competition as qualifiers.