Table Tennis: Nigerian Star Aruna Beats Khanin 4-0 In Houston
Nigerian table tennis star Quadri Aruna beat Belarusian Aleksandr Khanin 4-0 in the first day of action at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Houston.
The 13th seeded Aruna at the championships, who started slowly in the first game, was made to work hard to earn the game 14-12 before having a smoother passage in the following 3 games, recording 11-6,11-6,11-5 to wrap up his first round match and move into the next round.
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Fellow compatriot Bode Abiodun escaped with a thrilling 4-3 win against India’s Almaraj Anthony.
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.
Facing South Korea’s Jonghoon Lim was always going to be a huge task for Omar Assar of Egypt in the first round. Despite fighting back to hold for 1-1 in the 2nd game, the reigning African Champion found it difficult to dispatch Jonghoon in the games that followed, as he was eliminated 4-3(11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7) in the first round.
Ahmed Saleh and Khalid Assar also tasted 4-0 defeats in their respective first round matches.
In the women’s singles, Dina Meshref began her journey in the competition with a 4-2 victory over Croat, Mateja Jeger, setting the tune for other African players in the first round of the women’s singles.
Unfortunately, Abdel-Aziz Farah’s campaign in Houston was cut short following a 4-2 loss to Ayhika Murkerjee of India. Another Egyptian Helmy Yousra also was knocked out in the women’s singles 4-0 Margaryta Pesotska in same round of matches.