Home Sports ITTF Africa Cup: Aruna defeats Egyptian opponent, reclaims title

ITTF Africa Cup: Aruna defeats Egyptian opponent, reclaims title

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Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna waxed lyrical about fulfilling his dream as a table tennis player again on Tuesday after reclaiming the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup for the first time since 2017 by beating Egypt’s Mohamed EL Beiali 4-0 at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

The one-sided final saw Aruna effortlessly take down the Egyptian 11-5, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3 to emerge as the new Africa Cup champion.

It took Aruna six finals to reclaim the men’s singles title, having lost the last five finals to Egyptian duo, Omar Assar (2023, 2022, 2019 and 2018) and Ahmed Saleh (2020).

The final was also the 13th meeting between Aruna and Bieali, with the Egyptian seeking his maiden singles title.

“I never gave up on my dream, it doesn’t matter where you come from”, Aruna told ITTF Africa after the game.

“I come from a small place in Oyo State in Nigeria, and it was really difficult growing up, I just want to tell them that something great is very possible to happen in every individual. There was never an easy win in any competition, and I am happy that I gave my best and my best result in the victory. It has always been in me not to give up, even when I am down. I am happy that all my hard work paid off with the victory”, the African No.1 said.

Aruna avenged his African Games defeat to Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz in the semi-finals with a commanding 4-1 win, while El-Beiali repeated the same score margin against Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo.

Dina Meshref prevailed over Mariam Alhodaby in an all-Egypt women’s singles final for her seventh title. It was her first win since 2020.

Meshref defeated Nigeria’s Offiong Edem 4-0 to reach the final while Alhodaby was flawless in the semi-finals against defending champion Hana Goda with a 4-0 win.

The tournament featured over 50 players from 15 countries as players brace for the African Olympic Qualification Tournament, which holds from 16 to 18 May.

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