Players coming from outside boundaries of the African continent, all enjoyed success start at the commencement on Wednesday 8th August, in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament for places in the main draw at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open
The foreign participants at the ongoing 2018 Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open have stamped their authority in the various categories of event. Flying the Italian flag, Antonio Amato but it was players from China and India that has attracted the major attention.
Liu Jialiang set the standard for China. He beat Chijioke Osuji in three straight games (11-3, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9); whilst in more exacting contests Wang Xinyang beat lanre Jegede (11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-3) despite the crowd support and home advantage, and Wang Shaobo overcame Olabisi Yusuf (11-8, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3).
Similarly for India, Abishek Yadav, Ronit Bhanja and Mudit Dani took no prisoners; all recorded straight games wins in their opening encounters. Abishek Yadav beat Qudus Surmer (11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6) who in his very next contest promptly overcame Nigerian colleague, Abayomi Animasahun (11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9) the highest rated player in the group.
Good form from Abishek Yadav; likewise on his one visit to the table, Ronit Bhanja was in form. He overcame Kaminu Abiola (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4), likewise Mudit Dani prevailed against Abiodun Adejoke (12-10, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8).
Success for visitors from Asia; for Europe Antonino Amato flew the flag, he made a fine start to his campaign by overcoming Monsuru Kazeem (11-6, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9).
Promising starts from worthy visitors, it was the same from the leading African players on Men’s Singles qualification duty. Congo Brazzaville’s Abiodun Lawal, alongside Nigeria’s Nurudeen Hassan and Tobi Falana made successful starts to their campaigns as did Egypt’s Mahmoud Helmy.
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, the host nation’s leading names on initial phase duty enjoyed early wins. Azeez Solanke, Jamiru Ayanwale and Tobi Falana all made positive starts.
However, the player to note was colleague Amadi Omeh; he beat Mudit Dani (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5) and colleague Abayomi Animasahun (11-7, 11-6, 11-7) to conclude his initial phase matches and thus emerged the only player to be assured of first group place and a passport to the main draw.
In the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, players finishing in first places in each of the seven groups plus one “Lucky Loser” drawn at random from the second placed players, advance to the main draw to join the eight seeds.
Somewhat differently, in the Men’s Singles competition, those finishing in first positions in each of the 23 groups advance, the runners up compete in a preliminary round. The winners of the preliminary round matches, plus one loser, join the 32 seeds in the main draw.
The qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 9th August.