05 Apr 2019

Medallists decided, colour undecided; the young men from Nigeria demonstrated their skills clearly on the penultimate day of action, Thursday 4th April at the 2019 Ghana Junior and Cadet Open in Accra.

Notably in the junior boys’ singles event, they provide three of the four semi-finalists; the exception to the rule being Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alshareif.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Impressively, at the quarter-final stage he beat Congo Democratic’s Exauce Ngefuassa (11-2, 11-2, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7) to reserve his semi-final place where he confronts Azeez Solanke; the young man who represented Nigeria at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. He was equally unrelenting in his last eight duel, he accounted for India’s Arnav Manoj Karnavar in straight games (11-7, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4).

A most creditable performance from Azeez Solanke, it was the same in the opposite half of the draw from colleagues Taiwo Mati. He beat Saudi Arabia’s Salem Alsuwailem without the loss of a single game (11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6). He now meets Emmanuel Augustine in the semi-finals; in the all Nigerian quarter-final contest, Emmanuel Augustine overcame Abayomi Animasahun, in a seven games contest (12-10, 8-11, 11-1, 12-10, 2-11, 1-11, 11-2).

Success for Emmanuel Augustine and Taiwo Mati; it was the same in the junior boys’ doubles competition where Nigerian gold is assured. In the final the pair oppose Jaimu Ayanwale and Azeez Solanke.

Gold medal hopes alive for Taiwo Mati and Jaimu Ayanwale; in the cadet boys’ doubles event they could well reserve the top step of the podium, in the cadet boys’ singles competition they could meet in the final. In the former they oppose Arnav Manoj Karnavar and Indian colleague, Mainak Nistala in the title decider, in the latter, at the semi-final stage Taiwo Mati meets Khalid Alshareif; Jaimu Ayanwale opposes Arnav Manoj Karnavar.

Meanwhile, in the mini-cadet boys’ singles event, Nigeria is represented, Mustapha Mustapha meets Ghana’s Ibrahim Gado Nuhu in the penultimate round; in the opposite half of the draw Congo Democratic’s Neredi Bovoyi Mutshu confronts colleague Elie Malola.

Play at the 2019 Ghana Junior and Cadet Open concludes on Friday 5th April.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Ghana Junior & Cadet Open Taiwo Mati

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