11 Aug 2018

The penultimate day of play at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos delivered plenty of good news for China with strong performances coming from a number of the country's players in the senior and Under 21 categories while major departures were also apparent.

Here’s a recap of how the action unfolded on Saturday 11th August.

by Simon Daish

The Women’s Singles title will be awarded to China after all four of the semi-finals spots were sealed by representatives of the country.

One of the successful Chinese stars was Wei Wensheng, who backed up her straight games victory over no.6 seed Alex Galic (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 13-11) with a superb display against top seed Suthasini Sawettabut in the quarter-finals (11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 2-11, 11-8).

Fan Siqi also caught the eye on day two, breaking the hearts of the local fans with her elimination of Olufunke Oshonaike in the last 16 (11-2, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10) before sending second seed Szandra Pergel home packing one round later (11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8). The two remaining semi-finals places were claimed by Sun Chen and Guo Yan following their victories over Wang Shu (11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-9) and Qi Fenjie (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8) respectively.

Champion in Lagos two years ago but Benedek Olah won’t be standing on the top step of the Men’s Singles podium at the 2018 Nigeria Open: seeded third, the Finn came through his opening fixture of the day against the host nation’s Segun Toriola with flying colours (11-2, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8) but his campaign was brought to a close in the last eight as 10th seed Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon edged a seven game thriller (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9).

Success for one Thai competitor but for Padasak Tanviriyavechakul the quarter-finals marked the end. Condemning Azeez Olugbenga Jamiu to a six games defeat earlier in the day (7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4), no.9 seed Gavin Rumgay showed great character in the last eight to beat Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (6-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10) as the Scot progressed through to the penultimate round of the draw.

Antoine Hachard claimed a couple of upsets to his name, beating Alexey Liventsov (8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5) and Horacio Cifuentes (11-3, 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9), seeded second and seventh respectively, while Quadri Aruna has kept Nigeria in the hunt for the title following his confident outing against Rares Sipos (11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10) in the last eight.

The first finals were also played out on day two with both of the Under 21 gold medals going to China: Wang Shaobo needed just three games to account for Indian opponent Ronit Bhanja in the Under 21 Men’s Singles final (11-8, 11-3, 12-10) with the Under 21 Women’s Singles title going to Guo Yan, who saw off Fan Siqi at the final hurdle (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9).

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Challenge Series 2018 Nigeria Open Gavin Rumgay Fan Siqi Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon Wei Wensheng

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open