Oribamise, Abdel-Aziz, others to represent Africa at Youth Olympic Games
At the African Continental Qualification tournament concluded at the Palais Des Sport El-Mensah in Tunis, Tunisia, Oribamise defeated Alhodaby in the final of the girls’ singles to claim the top spot of the event in a 4-3 victory of 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11.
In the boys’ category, Hamdoun, who had earlier beaten Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke in 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 at the semi final stage, lost to Abdel-Aziz in six games of 11-4, 14-16, 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2.
Speaking on her victory, an elated Oribamise, who missed the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships, said: “I think I was ready for her but I could not just fathom what happened when I was leading 3-1 in games and 4-1 in points in the fifth game only to lose the game.
“Even in the seventh game, I was leading 8-2 and she caught up with me at 9-9, but I was calm to finish the match at 13-11. This victory and qualification for the Youth Olympic Games means a lot to me particularly after missing the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships. I have proved a point to my compatriots that the Egyptians are beatable and they just need to believe in themselves.”
In his reaction after claiming the top spot, Abdel-Aziz said: “I am happy that I was able to repeat the feat I achieved at the 2016 edition of the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships in Tunis this year. But this year is unique because I was able to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, which was very important to me this year.
“I am so happy that my experience in Tunis marked a new turn of things for me in my career as I look forward to the Youth Olympic Games and I will have to work hard to do well in the competition.”