by Ian Marshall, Editor (Interviews by Olalekan Okusan ITTF-Africa Press Officer)
After in the later rounds accounting for Congo Democratic’s Diawaku Diamuangana and Gedeon Kassa (11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8), followed by success in opposition to Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo and Segun Toriola (11-6, 11-7, 12-10), Sofiane Boudjadja and Sami Kherouf secured the title at the final expense of Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali and Ahmed Ali Saleh (13-15, 11-7, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8).
“It was an unbelievable thing to happen for Algeria because we have never won a gold medal in table tennis at the African Games. It was a good feeling and pleasure for us to become the first set of players to achieve this feat.” Sami Kherouf
“I am so excited especially having been out of the game for over a year; this competition is my return to the sport. I am so happy that we achieved this feat for our country; this means more money for the sport in Algeria and many kids will be inspired to play the game. I am so happy and I believe the whole country will celebrate this feat at home.” Sofiane Boudjadja
In the opposite half of the draw, at the quarter-final stage Mohamed El-Beiali and Ahmed Ali Saleh had beaten Congo Brazzaville’s Christ Bienatiki and Saheed Idowu (11-7, 11-6, 12-10), prior to ousting Tunisia’s Adam Hmam and Thameur Mamia (11-6, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10).
A bronze medal for Adam Hmam and Thameur Mamia; moreover well earned; in the quarter-final round they had ousted Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun and Quadri Aruna (12-10, 11-8, 12-14, 8-11, 14-12).
Gold for Algeria, silver for Egypt, in the women’s doubles event is was gold and silver for Nigeria. At the final hurdle Cecilia Akpan and Offiong Edem accounted for Fatima Bello and Olufunke Oshonaike (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 2-11, 13-11).
Earlier at the quarter-final stage Cecilia Akpan and Offiong Edem had beaten South Africa’s Danisha Patel and Simeen Mookrey (14-12, 11-5, 11-9), followed by success in opposition to Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Yousra Helmy (10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Fatima Bello and Olufunke Oshonaike had overcome Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz and Reem El-Eraky (11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7), followed by success against Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi and Katia Kessaci (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5).
Play in Rabat concludes on Thursday 29th April.