by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The top seed, he beat the host nation’s Thomas Akele in four straight games (11-4, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8) to reserve his place in round two.
Likewise there were wins in the opening round for the other leading names. Tunisia’s Mootezz Saadaoui, the no.2 seed, beat Algeria’s Islem Tifoura (11-9, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7); the latter’s colleague, Abdelbasset Chaichi, the no.3 seed, overcame Tunisia’s Chouayb Lagha (11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10), whilst Atef Ben Salah, also from Tunisia and the no.4 seed, received a walk-over against Dongo Democratic’s Michel Lignandzi.
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, Egypt’s Mariam Alhodaby was not required to raise her racket in anger. Notably sister, Marwa Alhodaby, the no.3 seed, beat Côte d’Ivoire’s Carelle Kouale (11-1, 11-2, 11-1, 11-1), whilst colleague Amira Yousry, the no.2 seed, overcame Gloaria Dianda from Congo Democratic (11-1, 11-1. 11-1, 11-2).
Also through for the Egyptian cause came Sarah Abousetta, she received a walk-over when due to Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi, the no.4 seed.
Egypt to the fore in the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events, in the Junior Boys’ Singles event Youssef Abdel Aziz has yet to start his campaign; it is the same in the Junior Girls’ Singles competition for Marwa Alhodaby and Mariam Alhodaby as well as the other leading names, they have yet to start their quests for honours.
However in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, campaign started flying the flag for Egypt, Ahmed Elborhamy, the no.3 seed, beat Sierra Leone’s Alieu Sesay (11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5). Success for Egypt there was also success for Tunisia. Aboubaker Bourass, the no.2 seed, accounted for Algeria’s Azzaddine Lazizi (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6. 11-4), Atef Ben Salah, the no.4 seed, overcame Cameroon’s Yaossou Ahmed Nenba (11-4, 11-2, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 14-12).
Events organised on the knock-out principle; in the Cadet Boys’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles events, play is organised in two staged, a group phase followed by knock-out.
In the initial phase of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event, Egypt’s Moamed Azzam, Abderrahmane Azzala and Ziad Elshawa concluded matters unbeaten and in first places in their respective groups as did Tunisia’s Khalil Sta and Christian Mbongia from Congo Democratic.
Likewise, Egypt was prominent in the opening phase of the Cadet Girls’ Singles event. Sara Elhakem and Hend Fathy secured first places; a feat achieved also by South Africa’s Kiara Naidoo and Hadjer Tahmi.