04 Aug 2019

Both no strangers to competing in the Men’s World Cup, sharing a total of nine appearances, for one host nation hero at the close of play on Sunday 4th August at the 2019 ITTF-Africa Cup in Lagos, the hopes of a repeat attendance lay in ruins, for another they remained by a whisker.

Segun Toriola fell; Quadri Aruna breathed a sigh of relief.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The no.4 seed, Segun Toriola was beaten in the opening round by Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu, the no.6 seed (6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9); Quadri Aruna, the top seed, after accounting for Congo Democratic’s Gedeon Kassa (12-10, 11-8, 11-2, 11-0), experienced a real fright.

He was extended the full seven games distance by Senegal’s rapidly improving Ibrahima Diaw, eventually emerging successful by the closest of margins in the decider (9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-2, 7-11, 12-10).

At the semi-final stage, Quadri Aruna now meets Egypt’s Omar Assar, the contest that has been the final in the four most recent editions of the tournament. No such great moments of drama; Omar Assar, the no.3 seed, accounted for Congo Brazzaville’s Christ Bienatiki (11-6, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5), before ending in the hopes of the host nation’s Olajide Omotayo (14-12, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-4).

There were few problems for Omar Assar


Progress for Omar Assar as anticipated, it was the same for colleague Ahmed Ali Saleh. He overcame Rwanda’s Eric Niyonizigiye (11-1, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6), before reserving his last four place courtesy of success in opposition to the host nation’s Bode Aboidun (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5).

Conversely, the advance of the three time winner’s semi-final opponent, Algeria’s Sami Kherouf, was not necessarily to be expected. The no.8 seed, he caused Nigeria more pain by beating 14 year old, Taiwo Mati (7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9), before ending the charge of the man in form, Saheed Idowu (9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 13-11, 13-15, 11-5).

A semi-final place for Sami Kherouf (Photo: Adewale Adeyemo)


Meanwhile, in the women’s event, Dina Meshref advanced in style, a direct entry to the quarter-finals, she accounted for Fatima Bello (11-9, 11-2, 11-2, 11-8) and now confronts a further Nigerian in the form of Offiong Edem, a player for whom it was a return to winning ways the hard way.

Second place in her group the previous day, she overcame Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz, the no.3 seed in a titanic seven games duel (4-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 2-11, 15-13), before in a further full distance contest overcoming colleague and no.5 seed, Olufunke Oshonaike (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8).

A determined Offiong Edem (Photo: Adewale Adeyemo)


A semi-final place for Offiong Edem, it was the same for Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci, the player against whom she had suffered defeat the previous day. Similar to Dina Meshref a direct entry to the main draw, she beat Nigeria’s Ajoke Ojomu (11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-7) to reserve her semi-final place.

In the penultimate round, Egypt’s Yousra Helmy awaits; the no.4 seed, she progressed by overcoming South Africa’s Danisha Patel (11-3, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6) and Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou, the no.6 seed (11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Yousra Helmy safely through to the women’s singles semi-finals (Photo: Adewale Adeyemo)


Play at the 2019 ITTF-Africa Cup concludes on Monday 5th August.


2019 ITTF-Africa Cup: Newsletter (Friday 2nd August)

2019 ITTF-Africa Cup: Newsletter (Saturday 3rd August)

2019 ITTF-Africa Cup: Newsletter (Sunday 4th August)

2019 ITTF Africa Cup Quadri Aruna Segun TORIOLA

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Africa Cup