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Nigeria reclaims boys’ singles title at ITTF African Junior/ Cadet Championship


An excited Azeez Solanke of Nigeria celebrates after winning the junior boys’ singles title at the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championship…yesterday.

Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke at the weekend halted Egypt’s dominance in the boys singles of the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championship when he won the junior boys’ singles title and partnered Jamiu Ayanwale to claim the junior boys doubles gold.

In the junior boys’ singles event, after having accounted for Abdelraham Dendan at the quarter-final stage, a contest in which the Egyptian had to eventually withdraw owing to injury (11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, ret), he beat Ahmed El-Borhamy (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8) and Marwan Abdelwahab (13-11, 4-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 11-6) to secure the title.

Marwan Abdelwahab in the earlier rounds had ousted Nigeria’s Abayomi Animasahun (11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8) and Tunisia’s Aboubaker Bourass (11-8, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7) before losing to Solanke.

In the junior boys’ doubles final, Abdelwahab partnership with Gawad El-Herazy failed ass they were defeated by Jamiu Ayanwale and Azeez Solanke (11-8, 11-7, 11-6).

Jamiu Ayanwale, who accounted for Tunisia’s Habib Ameur in the cadet boys’ singles event (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7), was beaten in the final by Taiwo Mati (11-8, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8), who ousted Egypt’s Mohamed Sameh (11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4) in the semifinal.

It was very much the same in the U-21 men’s singles event, but there was not stopping Mahmoud Helmy. After recording a quarterfinal success against Azeez Solanke (11-4, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5), he beat Marwan Abdelwahab (13-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8) and Emmanuel Augustine, who like Azeez Solanke, is from Nigeria (11-1, 8-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-2), to reserve the top step of the podium.

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