by Ian Marshall, Editor
Selecting from Marwan Abdelwahhab, Abdelrahman Dendan, Ahmed Elborhamy and Gawad Elherazy, not one single individual match was surrendered by the Egyptians, as top spot was secured.
Conversely, the no.2 seeds, Tunisia’s Youssef Ben Attia, Aboubaker Bourass and Louay Hamrouni, experienced a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the no.7 seeds, Nigeria’s Abayomi Animasahun, Emmanuel Augustine and Azeez Solanke. Mainstay of the Nigeria victory was Azeez Solanke; he accounted for Youssef Ben Attia (11-8, 13-11, 13-11) and Aboubaker Bourass (3-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6).
Similarly, the Algerian trio comprising Meziane Belabbas, Abdelbasset Chaichi and Azzeddine Lazazi, the no.3 seeds, experienced defeat. They suffered when facing the no.5 seeds, Togo’s Kossi Akakpo, Eke Victor Kueviakoe and Sedik Tchagole. Man of the moment for Togo in a 3-2 success was Kossi Akakpo. He beat both Meziane Belabbas (11-4, 11-5, 11-4) and Abdelbasset Chaichi (11-1, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4) in a contest that ended in a dramatic fashion. In the crucial fifth match, Eke Victor Kueviakoe overcame Meziane Belabbas by the very narrowest of margins (11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10) to seal the victory.
It was for Togo their one and only fixture of the day; for Nigeria they ended the day unbeaten; for Tunisia and Algeria it was their only reverse, hopes of progress to the second stage remain alive. In each group, teams finishing in first and second positions advance to the main draw.
Upsets in the first stage of the junior boys’ team event; equally, in the cadet boys’ team event there was a surprise of note. Nigeria’s Mamiu Atanwale and Taiwo Mati emerged the pairing to catch the eye. The no.7 seeds they recorded a 3-0 win against the Mauritius top seeded duo of Ryan Desscann and Zayyan Hossein. Otherwise, matters advanced as predicted. Tunisia’s Youssef Abid and Khalil Sta, the no.2 seeds, ended the day unbeaten, as did Algeria’s Abderrahmane Azzala and Abdelwahab Bellahsene, the no.3 seeds.
Meanwhile, in the same phase of the junior girls’ team competition the leading lights all ended the day unbeaten. Top seeds, Mauritius, represented by Sadhana Desscann, Oumehani Hosenally and Nandeshwaree Jalim duly topped their group as did the outfits next in the order of merit. Also, it was first place for Egypt who selected from Sarah Abousetta, Sara Elhakem, Hend Fathy, Hana Goda and Shahd Sameh, as it was for Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci, Ghofrane Beji and Samar Hichri.
Likewise, in the cadet girls’ team competition, the principal combinations remained unbeaten. Tunisia’s Farah Mahjoub and Maram Zoghlami, the top seeds, ended the day without defeat, as did the next in the order of merit, Egypt who selected from Farida Badawy, Rouaa Elnagi, Hana Goda and Farah Mahjoub. Not to be overshadowed, Algeria, who selected from Melissa Belache, Lily Denanga, Julie Katembe and Hadil Merrouche, the no.3 seeds, also ended the day without defeat.
Play continues in all team events on Monday 8th April.
2019 African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships: Newsletter No.2 (Sunday 7th April)