Solanke, Ayanwale Secure Last 16 Spots As Chinese Players Dominate Final Group Stage Matches

The ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open day 2 marked the end of the qualification stages as the top seeds get set to make their entrances in the main draw of the U21 Men’s and Women’s singles as well as the Men’s and Women’s singles.

Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke and Falana Tobi both secured their spots in the round of 16 of the U21 Men’s singles after easing past South Africa’s Maharaj Mishay 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-8) and Egypt’s Wael Ziyad 3-0 (12-10, 11-3, 11-6) respectively. Similarly, Ayanwale Jamiu also strolled past Ghana’s Ofori Emmanuel 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 12-10).

China’s Wang Shaobo and Wang Xiang as well as India’s Dani Mudit all ghosted past their Nigerian opponents.

However, in the U21 Women’s singles, it was the Chinese who dominated their respective groups; winning against Nigerian opponents to qualify from 5 of the 5 groups. Nigeria’s Agnes Onoja, India’s Maria Rony and Mauritius’ Elodie Wan Kau all qualified as best losers.

The Men’s singles match three saw easy wins for Nigeria’s Hassan Nurudeen and Tobi Falana but Ayanwale Jamiu had to do it the hard way, coming from 3-0 down to defeat Italy’s Amato Antonino 4-3 in a pulsating encounter. Azeez Solanke also replicated the same feat, coming from 3-0 down to beat Egypt’s Wael Ziyad 4-3. The Chinese continued to go past their Nigerian opponents with relative ease.

2018 Africa Youth Games Bronze medalist, Esther Oribamise lost her second match to China’s Wang Shu. Other Nigerian opponents also suffered similar fate in the hands of the Chinese. Hussain Halima enjoyed an easy victory over the Democratic republic of Congo’s Nzangani Cyntia.

The Women’s preliminary doubles also saw complete domination from the Chinese but Nigeria’s duo of Ogundele Rashidat and Bello Fatimo did not have to raise a bat as they walked over their counterparts from Ghana.

India’s Dani Mudit and Ronit Bhanja fought past Congo’s Saheed Idowu and Lawal Abiodun in the Men’s doubles preliminary round. Nigeria’s Solanke Azeez and Falana Tobi were despatched by France’s Sefried Joe and Robinot Alexandre. Omeh Amadi and Fagbamila Akinwale secured victories.

In what has been a brilliant conclusion to the qualification stages, the top seeds are set to make their entrances in day 3 at the different events; most notably is the highest ranked star Aruna Quadri who will take on Italy’s Amato Antonino In the round of 64 of the Men’s singles.