by Ian Marshall, Editor (Interviews: Olalekan Okusan)
In group organised events, in class 1 Eslam Raslan beat colleague and top seed, Walid El-Sayed (6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6) to end the day unbeaten; similarly in class 5 Ayman Zenaty accounted fellow Egyptian Hassan Tolba (11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7).
Surprises, in class 6, Ibrahim Hamadtou was beaten by compatriots Mahmoud Abdelmagid Bashir 11-7, 11-4, 11-3) and Faraq Hassan Ali (9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-3).
Similarly, in class 10, Alabi Olufeni accounted for South Africa’s Theo Cogill (4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4); in class 4, Isau Ogunkunle overcame Egypt’s Mohamed Sameh Eid Salah (11-8, 8-11, 6-11, 11-1, 11-7).
“In 2011 when I first played against Mohamed Sameh Eid, he defeated me 3-0 but after the match he came to me to comfort and encouraged me not to give up. Since then we have been friends and we communicate with each other regularly. He became my idol in the game. I was in school in 2005 when I lost my father and it was difficult for me to continue schooling, so I dropped out. I decided to embrace shoemaking as a vocation. In 2010 I started playing table tennis. I will not allow this chance to slip my hand, I am hoping to make to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan. I know it is a big hurdle but I am ready to go through it and fulfill my dream of competing at big stage.” Isau Ogunkunle
Defeats for leading names but not in the remaining men’s singles classes where the most prominent ended the day with defeat. In class 2, it was success for the host nation’s Kamal El-Rashidy, as it was in class 3 for Nigeria’s Ahmed Owolabi Koleoso. Few problems foe Ahmed Owolabi Koleoso but for the no.2 seed, there was defeat; Egypt’s Aly Mohamen was beaten Mamdouh Taman, also from Egypt (5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles standing classes, in class 7, Egypt’s Ahmed Sayed and Abousteit Abdelnoniem, the top respective top two seeds ended the day unbeaten, as in class 8 did Nigeria’s Victor Farinloye and the Ivory Coast’s Kouame Kouadio. Similarly in class 9, also from Nigeria, it was success for Tajudeen Agunbiade and Francis Chukwuemeka; a situation that applied also in class to the no.2 seed, Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelwahab.
Play in the individual events concludes on Monday 1st July.
2019 Para African Championships: Latest Results and Draws