The duo of Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun claimed the first gold medal for Team Nigeria at the ongoing 2021 African ITTF Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon. They defeated the Egyptian duo of Ahmed Saleh and Khalid Assar in the final of the men’s doubles event.
After overcoming their compatriots and fellow Team Nigeria members Samuel Boboye and Solanke Azeez 4-0 (14-12; 11-7; 11-5; 11-7) in the ITTF Championship semifinals, Africa’s number one ranked player Quadri and his doubles partner Abiodun set their sights on the Egyptian duo of Saleh and Assar who had also made light work of Algeria’s Kherouf Sami and Boudjadja Mohamed Sofiene 4-0 (11-6; 11-9; 11-7; 11-7) in their quarterfinal encounter earlier.
Nigeria’s representatives won the match against their Egyptian counterparts to exact revenge on the Egyptians after they had earlier claimed a 3-2 win in the final of the team event to take the gold medal. Both sides contained one semifinalist each in the doubles final match. Quadri and Abiodun won the explosive match 4-2 (6-11; 11-9; 13-11; 9-11; 11-3; 11-6)to win a first gold medal for Team Nigeria at the African ITTF Championship.
In the men’s singles event, Aruna Quadri showed his guile and experience as he came back from a set down to defeat Egypt’s Mohamed Shouman 4-1 (8-11; 11-7; 11-8; 11-4; 11-8) in the quarterfinals to make him the only representative of Team Nigeria left in the semifinals.
Quadri will face experienced Egyptian Ahmed Saleh in the semifinals. Saleh will be hoping to claim a third successive African scalp against Quadri after his Round of 16 success against 17-year-old Samuel Boboye from Nigeria by a scoreline of 4-1 (10-12; 11-9; 11-3; 11-9; 11-8) and his quarterfinal win over Bode Abiodun, another Nigerian, by a similar scoreline of 4-1(4-11; 11-8; 11-8; 11-7; 11-8).
In the other semifinal, Egypt’s Omar Assar will face Senegalese player Ibrahima Diaw. Assar defeated Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo 4-3 (5-11; 17-15; 11-4; 11-7; 6-11; 9-11; 11-6) in the game of the round. His Senegalese opponent Diaw defeated Egypt’s Khalid Assar in his own quarterfinal match 4-1 (4-11; 11-4; 11-7; 11-5; 14-12).