Ovtcharov, Akula Claim Singles Titles At WTT Contender Lagos

A former Table Tennis world number one, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and India’s Sreeja Akula have claimed the 2024 WTT Contender Lagos singles titles at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The final day of the tournament witnessed a day of thrilling table tennis as champions were crowned in the Women’s Singles, Men’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, and Men’s Doubles categories at WTT Contender Lagos 2024.

Ovtcharov defeated compatriot, Ricardo Walther 4-1 (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6), securing his second WTT Series singles title and first in Lagos.

Ovtcharov, a 2023 finalist, was determined to claim his first WTT Series singles title since 2021.

In the Women’s Singles final, Indian Akula and Ding Yijie of China faced off in what was both players’ first WTT Series singles final appearance.

Akula, with two WTT Feeder Series titles to her name, and Ding, a rising star with four WTT Youth Series titles, battled fiercely for the champion title.

Akula’s remarkable journey to the final saw her save three match points in the semifinals, demonstrating her resilience and determination.

Ding, making her WTT Series debut, aimed to become the lowest-ranked player to win a WTT Series Women’s Singles title. Ultimately, Akula emerged victorious with a 4-1 win (10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6), adding a double chapter to her growing legacy, after her Women’s Doubles win today.

In the Women’s Doubles final, the Indian duo of Sreeja Akula and Archana Girish Kamath squared off against compatriots Yashaswini Ghorpade and Diya Parag Chitale. Both pairs showcased exceptional teamwork and skill, but it was Akula and Kamath who clinched the title with a 3-0 victory (11-9, 11-6, 12-10) in their first international final together.

The Men’s Doubles final saw a battle between the Nigerian pair of Azeez Solanke and Olajide Omotayo and the Indian duo of Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar.

Solanke and Omotayo, playing together for the second time in an international event, faced the experienced pair of Desai and Thakkar, who have been playing together since 2016.

Desai and Thakkar came out on top with a 3-0 win (11-8, 11-9, 11-8) marking their first Men’s Doubles title as a duo.

In the Mixed Doubles final on Saturday, 2023 singles champion, Shin Yubin and Lim Jonghoon of Korea Republic defeated Xu Huiyao and Luo Jiecheng of China 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-4).

The event featured 32-draw Men’s and Women’s Singles, 16-draw Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and 16-draw Mixed Doubles, all vying for a share of the $80,000 prize pool and ITTF World Ranking points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REUTERS/Christopher Ojilere

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