by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat by the very narrowest of margins had been the scenario one day earlier when losing to colleague, Marwan Gamal (11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9); one day later, the tables turned.
After recording an opening round win over Marwan Nagy, also from Egypt (11-9, 2-11, 11-8, 11-5), Youssef Ehab caused a major upset by beating Algeria’s Abdelbasset Chaichi, the no.2 seed, in a full distance five games duel (8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7); before in an ever more dramatic quarter-final duel, overcoming compatriot Ziad El-Shawa (10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 14-12) to reserve a place on the podium.
A surprise semi-finalist and there was one more; Nigeria’s 12 year old Taiwo Mati exceeded all expectations.
Likewise, not seeded, he ended Egyptian hopes. He overcame Karim Zarad (11-3, 12-10, 14-12) and Ahmed El-Mahdy (12-10, 11-9, 11-8), prior to causing an upset of note by beating a third player from the host country. He ousted Mohamed Azzam, the no.4 seed (3-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6).
Notably Youssef Ehab and Taiwo Mati appear in the lower half of the draw; in the opposite half Tunisia’s Youssef Ben Attia, the top seed, meets Congo Brazzaville’s Regis Kiassi, the no.3 seed, to determine a place in the title decider; a section of the draw where matters advanced according to status.
Both Youssef Ehab and Regis Kiassi ended Egyptian hopes. Direct entries to the second round, Youssef Ben Attia beat Yehia Saad (12-14, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9) and Mohamed Sameh (11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6); Regis Kiassi accounted for Omar Allam (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7) and Moamen Ashraf (11-5, 11-7, 11-7).
Similarly, in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles event, play progressed to the semi-final round. Mohamed Azzam and Youssef Ben Attia meet Yehia Saad and Egyptian colleague Karim Zarad; in the adjacent half of the draw Moamen Ashraf and Ziad El-Shawa oppose Abdelbasset Chaichi and Refis Kiassi.
Matters conclude on Sunday 15th October in Sharm El-Sheikh.