by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
In the final of the Mini-Cadet Boys’ Singles event he accounted for Algeria’s Abdelwahab Bellahsene (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6), before securing victory in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles in opposition to Tunisia’s Aziz Jerbi and Mohamed Amine Oueslati (11-9, 11-7, 11-8).
“I am so happy that after three years of hard work, I am being rewarded for my efforts. I will cherish this for a long time particularly being my first title for India. I believe this will spur me on for subsequent tournaments. My confidence will surely increase in tournaments now. I want thank Table Tennis Federation of India for giving me the opportunity to play for the country, especially to Mr. Kamlesh Mehta for supporting me.” Aadil Anand
Success for Aadil Anand, there was also success for Egypt’s 10 year old Hana Goda, a player who had attracted attention throughout the whole tournament.
She emerged successful in the Mini-Cadet Girls’ Singles event overcoming Tunisia’s Maram Zoghlami in the final (11-5, 11-3- 11-4) to secure the top prize. It is the third such title she has won; in 2016 she succeeded in Algiers, last year in Egypt.
“I lost in the semi-final in Tunisia last year, so I was really determined this year to win. I did not drop a single starting in the group stage. I really wanted to win because when I lost in 2017, I was a bit nervous and was not calm. I love playing in Tunisia because the people showed me love and I love them too for their support. I am now heading back home to sit for my examinations and hoping to do well at the African Hopes Tournament in Mauritius come May this year. I was more confident this year than last year.” Hana Goda
Gold for Egypt, in the Cadet Girls’ Doubles event it was gold and silver; Rea Amro and Farida Badawy beat Sondous Amin and Taka Wael to secure the top prize, at the final hurdle the duo emerged successful in three straight games (11-6, 11-5, 11-7).
Meanwhile in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event it was success for China, in the counterpart Cadet Girls’ Singles, the top step of the podium was secured by Serbia. Liu Menglong accounted for Payas Jain in the final of the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition (6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7); in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event, at the final hurdle Radmila Tominjak overcame Germany’s Sophie Klee by the very narrowest of five games margins to claim the title (9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9).
The Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open concluded; attention now turns to the two day Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games tournament.