Table Tennis: Nigeria Breaks 10-Year Jinx
For the Nigeria men’s table tennis team to the 2018 ITTF African Championships holding in Mauritius, they can boldly say ‘they use to hustle now they bounce’.
After ten fruitless years of playing second-fiddle, Nigeria men’s table tennis team on Wednesday, September 5th emerged as African Champions as they overcame their arch-rivals, Egypt.
In the keenly-contested men’s final, the experience of Segun Toriola counted for Nigeria when the seven-time Olympian fought from 1-2 down to beat youthful Khaled Assar 3-2 in the third game to give Nigeria a 2-1 lead.
After a decade, Nigeria reclaimed the Men’s Team event at the African Championships - for an 11th time, to move within reach of Egypt who have won it a record 12 times.#ITTFAfricanChamps2018 pic.twitter.com/D0A0PErPqm— ITTF-Africa (@ITTFAfrica) September 6, 2018
This was after Aruna Quadri had put Nigeria ahead with a 3-2 win over Ahmed Saleh while Bode Abiodun fell 0-3 to Mohammed El-Beiali.
Like a true champion, it was Aruna Quadri who saved the day for Nigeria with an explosive encounter against Mohammed El-Beiali who made the spectators to be glued to their seat during the tie.
Having fallen behind 1-2, Aruna Quadri fought back to beat the Arab Cup Champion 3-2, throwing the venue into a frenzy.
However, it was the North Africans that had the last smile in the Ladies’ event, thus meaning that Nigeria (Men) and Egypt (Women) will fly Africa’s flag at the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan in November 2019.
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