by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The only player to offer notable resistance was the host country’s Arthur Tieba, he extracted the third game from Ahmed Elborhamy (11-3, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3); a spirited effort from the young man but it was to be third place in his group, by a similar margin he was beaten by colleague Cédric Zaouli Ba (11-5, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3).
Earlier Ahmed Elborhamy had accounted for Cédric Zaouli Ba in three straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-7). Thus second place was the lot of the Côte d’Ivoire player as it was colleagues Ibrahim Gueye and Nomel Sie. Respectively, they finished next in line to Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Ziad Elshawa.
Success for the top three seeds it was the same for the fourth seed, the home country’s Franck Kouadio but there was a close call; he was required to recover from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory against colleague Ousmane Coulibaly (8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3). A close defeat for Ousmane Coulibaly but it was his only defeat, second place and thus a passage to the main draw was secured.
However, for André Bly, also from Côte d’Ivoire and the 0ne further player in the competition with a world ranking, there was defeat. He was beaten by Congo Democratic’s Chiristian Mbongia (11-8, 11-7, 11-4) who duly remained unbeaten to reserve first place; no further defeats, second place was the outcome for André Bly.
Meanwhile, in the Junior Boys’ Doubles event, Egypt was also to the fore; Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Ahmed Elborhamy accounted for the host’s Ivan Landy Koussi and Arur Tieba (11-8, 11-6, 11-3) and now face the latter’s colleagues Nomel Sei and Cédric Zaouli Ba.
In the adjacent half of the draw, an all Côte d’Ivoir affair sees Chérif Gbane and and Ibrahim Gueye confront André Bly and Franck Kouadio.
Both the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Boys’ Doubles events will be played to a conclusion on Monday 2nd April.