Nigerian 13th seed Quadri Aruna progressed to round two at the ongoing 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston with a straightforward victory over Aleksandr Khanin of Belarus in the men’s singles on Tuesday.
Africa’s top-ranked player Aruna cruised to a 4-0 (14-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5) to book his spot in the next round.
Compatriot Bode Abiodun escaped with a thrilling 4-3 win over India’s Almaraj Anthony.
Elsewhere, it was not an auspicious outing for Egyptian Omar Assar as the African men’s singles champion was handed a chastening 4-1 loss by Lim Jonghoon of South Korea.
Omar’s brother Khalid also crashed out following a 4-0 loss to Hungary’s Adam Szudi and compatriot Ahmed Saleh also lost his opening match by a similar scoreline.
In the women’s singles, Egypt’s and Africa’s top-ranked player Dina Meshref eased into the next round with a nervy 4-2 victory over Croatia’s Mateja Jeger in the first round.
In the Mixed doubles, Nigerian duo, Bode and Offiong Edem dug deep to record a 3-2 win in round one to keep their hopes alive in the Mixed doubles, while Olajide Omotayo and Cecilia Akpan, Khalid and Yousra Helmy, Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci all didn’t make it past the first round.