by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success but in the under 21 men’s team semi-final, that success was hard earned; a 3-2 margin of victory was the outcome for the trio formed by Emmanuel Augustine, Taiwo Mati and Azeez Solanke in opposition to Egypt’s Marwan Abdelwahhab, Omar Elhamady and Mahmoud Helmy.
Hero of the hour for Nigeria was Taiwo Mati; after Mahmoud Helmy had given Egypt hope by beating Taiwo Mati (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) and Azeez Solanke (11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8); in the vital fifth and deciding match of the fixture, Taiwo Mati accounted for Marwam Abdelwahhab by the very narrowest of margin (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10) to seal the victory.
In the final Tunisia awaits; in a less dramatic contest, the trio formed by Aboubaker Bourass, Youssef Ben Attia and Louay Hamrouni recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to Algeria’s Islem Tifoura, Abdelbasset Chaichi and Azzeddine Lazazi.
Hard fought success for Nigeria in the under 21 men’s team penultimate round; in both the junior boys’ team and cadet boys’ team semi-finals, life was less tense. In the former, the combination of Azeez Solanke, Emmanuel Augustine and Abayombi Animasahun recorded a 3-1 win in opposition to Togo’s Kossi Akakpo, Eke Victor Kueviakoe and Sedik Tchagole; in the latter a 3-0 margin of victory was secured by Taiwo Mati and Jamiu Ayanwale when facing Egypt’s Marwan Gamal and Mohamed Sameh.
Success against Egypt, now Egypt awaits in the junior boys’ team final.
“I am sure the Egyptians have been watching our game and they are also afraid of us. The fact that we have not been playing in the competition for the last two years has given them hope that they can ride over every team but I must tell you that they are going to meet their waterloo in the final, as we are ready for them. We want to leave Ghana with the giant trophy this weekend.” Azeez Solanke
At the semi-final stage, Egypt represented by Marwan Abdelwahab, Abdelrahman Dendan and Ahmed Elborhamy posted a 3-1 win in opposition to Tunisia’s Youssef Ben Attia, Aboubaker Bourass and Khalil Sta to reserve their place in the final.
“I know that the Nigerian team is very strong despite their absence in the last two editions of the competition. They are very strong but we will try and stop them to retain our title. The match against Tunisia was very difficult because we play same style. I maintained my focus throughout. I believe this was a good preparation for the final.” Marwan Abdelwahab
A semi-final defeat for Tunisia in the junior boys’ team event, not at the same stage of the cadet boys’ team competition; the combination of Khalil Sta and Youssef Abid secured a 3-0 win against Algeria’s Mohammed Bechni and Abderrahmane Azzala.
The team events conclude on Wednesday 10th April.
2019 African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships: Newsletter No.4 (Tuesday 9th April)