African Championships Update: Assar and Aruna Into the Semis - Butterfly Table Tennis
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OMAR ASSAR

African Championships Update: Assar and Aruna Into the Semis

(Steve Hopkins)

Egypt and Nigeria have each had periods of dominance in Africa.  Nigeria has had strong individual players, with recognizable names like Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola leading the way.  Egypt has had depth, and has dominated the team competitions – winning 10 of the last 12 African Men’s titles and 9 of the last 12 African Women’s titles.  At the last championship, Nigeria took both the Men’s Singles title (Quadri Aruna) and the Men’s Team title.  This year, Egypt has already won both Men’s and Women’s Teams.  Only the Singles events remain.

The Men’s Singles event played the Quarterfinal matches today.  Four Egyptian players and Three Nigerian players advanced to the Final 8.  Two Egyptian players advanced to the final four, Omar Assar and Ahmed Saleh.  Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the tournament’s top seed, also advanced – as did Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal.  The final two matches will be on Tuesday.

Women’s Singles was dominated by Egypt.  In fact, five of six Egyptian entries made it to the Quarterfinals, and all four players to make it to the Semifinals were Egyptian.  Dina Meshref is the favorite, and thus far she has won all of her matches 4-0.  The final two matches will be held on Tuesday.

Men’s Doubles went to Nigeria (Aruna/Abiodun) who topped Egypt (Assar/Saleh) 4-2.  Women’s doubles went to Egypt 4-3 over Nigeria.  Mixed Doubles went to Egypt’s Assar/Meshref team – the two won all four of their matches 4-0.

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