Egypt on Sunday won the men and women’s singles at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Series Nigeria Open at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Omar Assar beat India’s Sarthak Gandhi 4-0 to win his third men’s singles while Dina Meshref won her second women’s singles title after beating Russia’s Oleg Kulikova 4-0.
In the Under-21 category, Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz beat Portugal’s Francisco Jose Pedro to win the men’s singles while Italy’s Giorgina Piccolin won the women’s singles.
The men’s doubles title was won by French duo Hachard Antoine and Jean Gregoire, who beat Romania’s Cazacu Alexandru and Sipos Rares 3-1. The women’s doubles title went to Balint Bernadett and Pergel Szandra of Hungary, who beat Egyptian duo Meshref and Helmy Yousra 3-0.
The winners of the men and women’s singles went home with $5,000 each while the runners-up got $2,300 each. The doubles winners got $3,000 each and the runners-up were rewarded with $1,500 each.
The farthest Nigerian players went at the competition was the semifinals.
Bode Abiodun, who upset top seed Aruna Quadri in the Round of 16, lost 4-3 to Gandhi in the semifinals while Esther Oribamishe lost 3-0 to Piccolin in the Under-21 women’s singles. Cecilia Akpan and Janet Effiom also lost Yusra and Meshref 3-2 in the women’s doubles semifinal.
Assar said he was delighted to have won the title, adding that Lagos had become his second home.
“It has been a worthwhile experience playing in Lagos and I am happy with the support I get from the crowd each time I come. Winning the Nigeria Open for the third time shows that Lagos is my second home,” he said.
Meshref said, “It was painful that I lost the title here last year but I came with the target to win it again and I am very happy that I achieved that dream.”
Chairman Local Organising Committee for the competition, Enitan Oshodi, said the competition had helped to expose more Nigerian players to quality opposition.
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