11 Aug 2019

The host nation’s Quadri Aruna and Polina Mikhailova won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open in Lagos on the late afternoon of Sunday 11th August.

Success for Quadri Aruna meant he retained the crown, for Polina Mikhailova she concluded matters the most successful player in the tournament; earlier in the day she had partnered colleague Yana Noskova to women’s doubles gold.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Delight for the host nation but there was also disappointment, Olajide Omotayo and Segun Toriola had to settle for silver in the men’s doubles event. However, at the end of the day there was plenty of reason for the local fans to stand and cheer; smiling faces prevailed.

Men’s Singles

…………Quadri Aruna, the top seed, beat Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.4 seed in the final (15-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1).

…………In the penultimate round Quadri Aruna ended the adventures of qualifier, India’s Soumyajit Ghosh (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4); Robert Gardos beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, the no.2 seed (11-3, 7-11, 8-11, 15-13, 13-11, 11-9).

…………Success for Quadri Aruna meant that he claimed his third career Challenge Series title; in addition to winning last year in Lagos, in 2017 he succeeded in Poland.

…………Once again for Robert Gardos the top step of the podium remains elusive. Three finals, three silver medals; in 2006 he was the runner up on the ITTF World Tour in Chile, last year at the Challenge Series tournament in Spain.

Women’s Singles

…………Polina Mikhailova, the no.2 seed, recovered from a three games to nil deficit to beat Russian colleague, Yana Noskova, the no.4 seed, at the final hurdle (6-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 15-13, 15-13)

…………At the semi-final stage Polina Mikhailova overcame Indian qualifier, Sreeja Akula (11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), Yana Noskova accounted for Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli, the no.7 seed (12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9).

…………It was for Polina Mikhailova her second career win at an ITTF Challenge tournament in six women’s singles finals; the one prior success was in 2012 in Belarus.

…………For Yana Noskova it was her first appearance in an ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour women’s singles final.

Men’s Doubles

…………Top seeds, Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Frenchman Quentin Robinot beat the host nation’s Olajide Omotayo and Segun Toriola, the no.5 seeds, at the final hurdle (11-7, 11-9, 12-10).

…………A first for Quentin Robinot, for Cédric Nuytinck it was a second; in 2015 he had partnered colleague Robin Devos to success on the ITTF World Tour in the Philippines.

…………It was only the second time on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament that a pair from Nigeria had reached such a final; in 2015 Quadri Aruna and Makanjuola Kazeem won in Lagos.

Women’s Doubles

…………Polina Mikhailova and Yana Noskova, the no.2 seeds, accounted for Croatia’s Ida Jazbec and Ivana Malobabic (11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7) to claim gold.

…………A first for Yana Noskova, a second for Polina Mikhailova; in 2016 on the ITTF World Tour in Slovenia she had won in partnership with colleague Maria Dolgikh.

…………It was the first time that a pair from Croatia had reached a women’s doubles final on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament.

Challenge Series 2019 Seamaster Nigeria Open Quadri Aruna Polina Mikhailova

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Day 3 - 2019 iTTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open