Egypt’s Omar Assar clinched the men’s 2022 ITTF Africa Cup Table Tennis Championship title on Saturday after defeating Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri 4-3 who sustained a hamstring injury in the pulsating final at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Sunday PUNCH reports.
Both players last met at the African Championships in Yaounde 2021 where the Egyptian won 4-1.
Assar defeated his compatriot Mohamed EL-Beiali in four straight sets (11-4, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8) to reach the final of the competition while Quadri edged the Africa Cup reigning champion, Ahmed Saleh 4-1 (5-11, 15-13,11-6, 12-10, 11-3)
Assar who has a superior head-to-head record over Quadri began the final on a bright note defeating Africa’s highest-ranked player 14-12 in the first set of the finals.
It was the first set the Nigerian was dropping a set at the tournament in Lagos.
The 33-year-old Nigerian bounced back from the defeat to win the second and third sets 11-8, 11-4 before succumbing to an 11-3 loss in the fourth set.
In the fifth set, he also lost 6-11 but recovered in the sixth set to win 11-5. In the final set, Quadri suffered a hamstring injury which ruined his chances as he lost 7-11.
Assar’s win maintained his dominance over Quadri on Saturday with the Egyptian now winning 11 of their last 19 meetings.
In the women’s final, 14-year-old Hana Goda became the youngest ever African to win the women’s 2022 Africa Cup champion after a dominant 4-0 victory over Fatimo Bello.
Goda who had defeated the defending champion Dina Meshref 4-3 in the semi-final beat Bello, (11-7, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6) in the final.