Quadri Aruna wins men’s singles title at 2024 ITTF African Cup

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna soared past Egypt’s El-Beiali Mohamed on Tuesday to be crowned champion of the men’s singles event at the 2024 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Cup in Kigali, Rwanda.

The 35-year-old saw off his North African counterpart 11-5, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3 in four straight sets to regain his title as African men’s champion having lost the last three editions of tournament.

The world number 19 last won the competition in 2017 in Agadir, Morocco, but since then, he has lost twice to arch-rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar, in the 2023 and 2022 editions, and was beaten by Ahmed Saleh in 2020.

“There is never an easy win in any competition, and I am happy that I gave my best and my best resulted in the victory,” the Nigerian said. “It has always been in me not to give up, even when I am down, and I am happy that all my hardwork paid off with the victory.

“I must commend Rwanda for providing excellent facilities and great hospitality for us, the players, and I look forward to returning again to this beautiful country.”

Meanwhile, Dina Meshref won the women’s category after clawing back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat compatriot Mariam Alhoudaby 4-3 in the final.

The Egyptian claimed the title for a record-extending ninth time after losing in the final as the last two editions.

“I am happy that I was able to come back, especially coming back from an injury I sustained before the tournament. I thank my family and my mother who sacrificed to be with me in Rwanda. It was a tough win for me here in this beautiful country and I will cherish this moment for a very long time to come,” Meshref said.

Following their respective victories, both Aruna and Meshref have booked a spot in the qualifier for the 2025 ITTF World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

However, they would now turn their attention to the African Olympic Qualification Tournament, slated to begin on Thursday, May 16, and end on Saturday, May 18, at the BK Arena, Kigali, Rwanda.

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