Three days after the commencement of the 2018 international table tennis federation (ITTF) Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open, some Nigerians have been knocked out of the tournament by their counterparts in other parts of the world.
Nigeria’s Omotayo Olajide was knocked out of the competition by Mahmoud Helmy of Egypt despite taking a 2-0 lead. Helmy fought back to win 4-2.
Just like Olajide Omotayo, Bode Abiodun exits the tournament after losing 4-3 to Bhanja Ronit of India. Abiodun was close to tears after seeing a lead slip, allowing India’s Ronit Bhanja take a 4-3 victory to advance to the round of 32 .
Bode Abiodun got back into the final game and led momentarily at 9-8, but India’s Ronit Bhanja was not going to be cowed by the noise of the Nigerian fans, holding steadfastly to close out the deciding game at 12-10 to win 4-3 overall and qualify for the next stage.
Another Nigerian, Nurudeen Hassan gave his all in his match against Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay, tying up the contest from 3-1 down to 3-3, before losing the last deciding game 11-8 which gifted Rumgay a 4-3 victory. That loss left Nurudeen Hassan in anguish after the match, but observers applauded how well he played as not many believed he stood a chance against Gavin Rumgay.
Also, Amato Antonino battles past Nigeria’s Solanke Azeez 3-2 to progress to the quarterfinal of the U21 Men’s singles.
Nigeria’s Jamiu Ayanwale forced Romania’s Rares Sipos to a seven-game thriller, leading 3-2 at some point before Sipos gathered momentum to win the last two games and take victory in 4-3.
Another Nigerian, Amadi Omeh was eliminated in the round of 16 by Egypt’s Helmy Mahmoud in the U21 Men’s singles.
While some Nigerians bowed out of the tournament, others played on with lots of encouragement from fans and spectators alike.
The number one seed, Aruna Quadri thrashed Italian star, Amato Antonino 4-0. Quadri takes the first three sets of 11-7, 14-12, 11-6, against Antonino in their men singles round of 64 encounter.
Asides Quadri, Nigeria’s table tennis veteran Segun Toriola defeated China’s Wang Xiyang to progress to the round of 32 of the Men’s singles. Another veteran, Olufunke Oshonaike played against Mauritius’ Ho Wan Kau Elodie in the round of 32 of the Women’s singles.
Nigeria’s Jamiu Azeez easily qualified for the next round of the tournament booking his passage with a walkover victory over Romania’s Alexandru Cazacu who did not show up for the match. Interestingly, that was Azeez’s second Walkover victory in two days.