by Ian Marshall, Editor (Interview: Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer)
The 23 year old accounted for Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali, the no.3 seed (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9).
“I think after I lost to Mamhoud Helmy in Lagos, I was so down. I just had to encourage myself. I went to work in my new base in Germany and I started working hard. I set a target for myself in Mauritius which was to get to the Men’s Singles semi-final but I kept this to myself and continued to work hard; before the match against Mohamed El-Beiali, I made sure I watched his matches and that I was positive.” Olajide Omotayo
Success for Olajide Omotayo; there was also success for his colleagues Quadri Aruna, Segun Toriola and Bode Abiodun.
Quadri Aruna, the favourite for the title, beat Benin’s Monday Olabiyi (11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1); Segun Toriola accounted for Madagascar’s Stephen Ravonsin (12-10, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8), having one round earlier been stretched to six games by Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz (11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9). Similarly, Bode Abiodun reserved his last eight place courtesy of success in opposition to South Africa’s Theo Cogill (11-7, 11-5, 12-10, 11-3).
Disappointment for Egypt; however, there were notable third round Men’s Singles successes. Ahmed Ali Saleh beat Algeria’s Larbi Bouriah (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8), Khalid Assar accounted for Togo’s Koki Dodju Fanny (11-4, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10).
Likewise, Shady Magdy and Aly Ghallab enjoyed wins. Both ended South African hopes. Shady Magdy overcame Shane Overmeyer (11-6, 11-3, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8), Aly Ghallab ended the adventures of Terrence Mathole (11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8).
At the quarter-final stage, Quadri Aruna meets Khalid Assar, Shady Magdy opposes Olajide Omotayo; in the lower half of the draw it is Segun Toriola versus Aly Ghallab, Bode Abiodun in opposition to Ahmed Ali Saleh.
The matches will be played later in the day in the evening session of play.
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Monday 3rd September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Tuesday 4th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Wednesday 5th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Friday 7th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Saturday 8th September