Winner of the men’s singles event at the 2017 ITTF Seamaster Challenge Nigeria Open, Omar Assar is happy to emerge champion in Lagos.
Assar defeated number 16 seed, Gandhi Sarthak of India in 4 straight sets (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8) to reclaim the title he last won in 2015.
The two time Nigeria Open champion missed out of last year’s competition to injury. Assar was happy to be at his best against tough competitors in front of a loud cheering crowd.
“I feel wonderful because it was a very tough competition and many stars played this year. I am very happy I could perform well today in the finals.
The Africa number 2 player would have preferred to play against Aruna Quadri in the final who got eliminated in the round of 16 by his compatriot, Bode Abiodun on Saturday.
“I feel very proud when we play final against each other. It makes our sport more promoted in Africa. He is a good player and I am sure he will come back stronger next time,” said Assar.
Meanwhile, women’s singles champion, Dina Meshref became a first time winner at the Nigeria Open beating Olga Kulikova 11-4, 16-14, 12-10, 11-6 on Sunday.
The delighted Africa number 1 praised her opponent for giving her a tough fight.
“She is a very good player and has a very good back hand, fore hand, her serves are good, she receives serves well, so everything was good,” she said.
“It was difficult for me playing against her. I had to concentrate at every point. My game was also good thank God I prepared well before the competition. I am happy I was able to perform well.”
The world number 115 making it to her third finals at the Nigeria Open is hopeful of retaining the title next year in Lagos.
“I hope I come next year to win the title again. This really made up for last year’s loss. I am very happy because it’s my first time winning the Nigeria Open.” Said Meshref.