by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer
Represented by Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Bode Abiodun, alongside the host nation’s Diogo Carvalho, the men’s team recorded a three matches to nil success in the final when facing GDCS Juncal.
Quadri Aruna gave Sporting the ideal start by beating Andrei Bukin (11-5, 11-2, 11-6), before in a hard fought contest Diogo Carvalho accounted for Mihai Sargu 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-7). Matters concluded with Bode Abiodun and Diogo Carvalho overcoming David Bessa and Andrei Bukin (11-2, 11-4, 11-9) to secure the title.
Earlier, Sporting had recorded three-nil wins against CTM Lagos and CD São Roque before accounting for ADC Ponta do Pargo by three matches to one to book their place in the final.
Success for the Sporting men’s team; there was also success for the counterpart women’s team, returning to the first division, after in recent years competing in a lower league. The trio comprising Daniela Monteiro Dodean, Li Fen and Zhenqi Barthel secured the Portuguese Cup title at the final expense of GD Toledos; a three-one victory margin being the order of proceedings.
Daniela Monteiro Dodean beat Olga Shishmareva (5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6), Li Fen increased the lead by overcoming Anita Luis (11-5, 11-5, 11-5), before Olga Shishmareva and Olga Chramko overcame Li Fen and Zhenqi Barthel to secure the doubles (11-7, 12-10, 11-8). A possible recovery, it was soon thwarted; Zhenqi Barthel accounted for Anita Luis in straight games (11-4, 11-1, 11-5) to seal the victory.
Understandably, Marco Rodrigues, the women’s team coach, was understandably delighted.
“It is very good to win again the Portuguese Cup for Sporting Clube de Portugal, after so many years of without success.” Marco Rodrigues
A delighted Marco Rodrigues, it was a similar reaction from Miguel Almeida, the club’s Sport Director.
“These two titles are very important, it was our goal; for the women’s team it was even more important. After being absent from the first division, we returned victorious. We are working hard to win the remaining titles this season.” Miguel Almeida
Notably, it was the 13th time that Sporting had won the women’s Portuguese Cup title and by emerging successful ended the reign of CTN Mirandela who had secured the title in each of the most recent nine editions.
Overall, 29 teams 16 men and 13 women, competed in the Portuguese Cup.