Aruna Quadri, Bello qualify for ITTF Africa Cup semi-finals

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Aruna Quadri will face defending champion Ahmed Saleh of Egypt in the semi-finals of the ongoing 2022 ITTF Africa Cup Table Tennis Championship at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Nigeria’s No.1 Quadri wasted no time in edging out Tunisia’sAboubaker Bourass 4-0 (11-1,11-4,11-3,11-5) to reach the semi-final of the men’s singles ahead of others.

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Saleh on his part, came back from the brink of defeat to beat Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo 4-2 (11-7,7-11,11-6,7-11,12-14,7-11) to secure a place in the last four.

The surprise package of DayTwo was Fatimo Bello,the Western Region champion,who defeated number four seed and fellow Nigerian,Offiong Edem, in a thrilling encounter which ended 4-3 (3-11,11-9,7-11,11-9,8-11,11-7,11-7) to progress into the semi-final in the women’s singles for the first time.

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2021 African Champion, Mariam Alhodaby of Egypt, had to be at her best against 2010 Champion Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon.

The Egyptian won in a close encounter which ended 4-3 (11-2,6-11,2-11,11-5,2-11,11-6,11-8) to berth in the last four of the women’s singles.

Hana Goda of Egypt repeated the same result she recorded against Olufunke Oshoanike in 2021 by beating the seven-time Olympian 4-0 13-11,11-6,11-8,11-6) to set up a semi-final clash against compatriot Dina Meshref.

Meshref had earlier dispatched Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci 4-0 (11-3, 11-5,11-8,11-6).

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Mohamed El-Beiali of Egypt and Bode Abiodun gave the fans a lot to cheer but it was the Egyptian who progressed after Abiodun sustained an injury at 2-3 to surrender the game to his opponent. Winners in the men and women singles will represent Africa at the WTT Cup Finals later in the year.

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