by Ian Marshall, Editor
Quadri Aruna set Nigeria, the top seeds, on the road to victory against the second seeds; he beat Ahmed Ali Saleh (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-2), before Mohamed El-Beiali levelled matters by overcoming Bode Abiodun (12-10, 11-9, 11-4).
The contest in the balance, experience counted, Segun Toriola, who in just under two weeks’ time will celebrate his 44th birthday, beat Khalid Assar (13-11, 1-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) to turn the tide in favour of Nigeria. Hard fought contests, it was exactly the same in the engagement that brought proceedings to a close; Quadri Aruna recovered from a two games to one deficit to beat Mohamed El-Beiali (5-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6) to seal the title.
“I am so disappointed that we could not retain our title. We thought we could pick the third match against Toriola. I am not too happy but that is table tennis and we will come back to fight again.” Ahmed Ali Saleh
Success for Nigeria means they have now won the Men’s Team event at the African Championships on 11 occasions; they close the gap on Egypt who have 12 times; no other country has ever donned the crown. Moreover, they now qualify for the 2019 Team World Cup to be staged in Tokyo, Japan
Meanwhile, in the principal play-off fixtures for the immediate ensuing positions, Togo with Mawussi Agbetoglo, Kokou Dodji Fanny and Alarou Assou on duty, recorded a three-two win in opposition to Algeria’s Larbi Bouriah, Sami Kherouf and Mohamed Lazizi to secure third place.
Fifth position finished in the hands of South Africa; in the play-off contest Theo Cogill, Kurt Lingeveld and Terrence Mathole emerged successful by three matches to one against the Mauritius outfit formed by Rhikesh Taucoory, Brian Chan Yook Fo and Allan Arnachellum.
Proceedings resume in Port Louis on Friday 7th September with the individual events.
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Monday 3rd September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Tuesday 4th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Wednesday 5th September