2018 ITTF Challenge Series: Quadri Aruna is first home winner

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Haruna Quadri
Quadri Aruna, the nation's hero (Photo: An Sungho)

Victory before a home crowd and fans is such a comforting experience as evident in Haruna Quadri response to the support he dag received through the just conclude 2018 ITTF Seamaster Challenge Nigeria Open which end on Sunday 12th August, 2018.

 

Haruna Quadri
Quadri Aruna, the nation’s hero (Photo: An Sungho)

It is clear from the beginning that the trophy that Haruna had the clear advantage  the be the winner of the 2018 edition and a new champions will be crowned at the 2018  ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open after five days of exciting matches.

The tournament whose upgrade had been announced by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for 2019 continued to attract top class players across the globe and this became obvious at this year’s edition with over 40 players in top 200 featuring.

From the hundreds of players that started the tournament on August 8, the dominance of the Chinese players in the women’s category despite their young ages was note worthy; but  like in event of such magnitude, the number has been reduced to four who will be aiming for the titles in the men and women singles events.

This year, Aruna Quadri made his way to the last four after a convincing 4-0 win over Romania’s Sipos Rares in an entertaining quarterfinal and in a similar fashion he demolished Thialand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon  after a keenly contest match on Sunday morning, 12th August.

Meanwhile, in the other semi final match the other semi-final match which pits Gavin Rumgay against France’s Antoine Hachard  in a very keenly contested and exciting match. It was victory for the french man who stamped his authority with his mastery of the back hand.

Once again, Huruna Quadri had the opportunity to fulfilling his of winning the converted trophy in the final’s against Antoine Hachard. With the home support he made his intention known that the trophy was his to lose in this occasion, a chance he not not willing to take.

It was Antoine Hachard who made the better start, he established an 8-4 lead in the opening game, before Quadri Aruna responded to win the next five points; at 10-9 Quadri Aruna held game point, he was unable to convert. On his second opportunity at 12-11 Antoine Hachard seized the chance.

In the final he beat Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, the no.16 seed, in six games (11-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7) thriller.

However, Cecilia Akpan, the no.16 seed, was beaten by Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4); Olufunke Oshonaike,
the no.8 seed, experienced defeat against Fan Siqi, the no.12 seed (11-2, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10), a round in which China, as in the previously, stamped
its authority.

In addition to Fan Siqi, colleagues Guo Yan, Qi Fenjie, Sun Chen Wang Shu and Wei Wensheng enjoyed second round Women’s Singles success. All required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, Guo Yan accounted for Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte, the no.4 seed (11-5, 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7), Qi Fenjie defeated Italy’s Debora Vivarelli, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5). Likewise, Wei Wensheng overcame Slovenia’s Alex Galic, the no.6 seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 13-11); Sun Chen beat Colombia’s Paula
Medina, the no.7 seed (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 13-11), whilst Wang Shu ended the hopes of fellow qualifier, India’s Sreeja Akula (11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 11- 2, 11-9).

The first women’s semi-final encounter saw Wei Wensheng do battle with Guo Yan before Sun Chen and Fan Siqi take to the table in the other penultimate round fixture. China has never been represented in an ITTF Challenge Series Women’s Singles final, that statistic is set to change with their dominance at this event but it was Guo Yan who left with the trophy and a cash prize of $5000 as winner single championship.

 

 

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