For most of the spectators and table tennis lovers, the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open 2017 didn’t start until today as the big guns kicked-off their campaign in the 5-day tournament. In action on day 3 were the likes of Aruna Quadri (world no 29 and Olympic quarter-finalist), Omar Assar (world no 38 and 2 time Nigeria Open winner), Kazeem Nasiru (former African champion), Li Ping (world no 42 and 2015 ITTF World Tour Belarus Open Champion), Olah Benedek (2016 ITTF Nigeria Open champion and world no 91) amongst others.
Day 3 highlights
The first highlight has to be the men’s doubles game between Nigerian duo, Onaolapo Ojo and Omotayo Olajide against Romanian duo, Cazacu Alexandru and Sipos Rares. The Romanian pair won the first two sets only for the Nigerian guys to stage a comeback. The comeback began in the 3rd set and continued to the 4th set as they came from 10-5 down to win and set the scores at 2 sets apiece in a game of best of 5 sets. The Nigerians were however halted in their tracks by the Romanians who won 4-3 as the comeback was never completed.
The second highlight of the day was the men’s doubles match between Aruna Quadri (NGA) and Assar Omar (EGY) vs Nigerian pair of Abiodun Bode and Ajetumobi Seun. The Nigerian duo of Bode and Seun palyed a good game taking the first set in the process before Omar and Aruna bounced back to eventually win by 3 sets to 1. This win was however marred by counting errors from the umpires as the game was halted on 3 different occasions as the Nigerian pair complained of umpire errors and even angrily refused to grant interviews at the end of the game.
The surprise of the day which would have taken everyone aback was Abudulahi Adbulrahman of Nigeria. He came up against Romania’s Cazacu Alexandru who is seeded 12th for this tournament and raced into a 2 set lead, only to surrender to the Romanian to lose 4-3.
The likes of Aruna Quadri, Omar Assar, Olah Benedek, Nasiru Kazeem, Li Ping all won their singles game in no time and without batting an eyelid. Funke Oshinaike in the name of her foundation, also took some time to share tennis kits to the Nigerian U21 players at this year’s Nigeria Open.
More pictures from Day 3 action…
The games continue tomorrow as we expect to see the likes of Olufunke Oshinaike, Dina Meshref and Shao Jieni in action and a possible match-up between the bug guns. Don’t miss it!!!