Kazeem Makanjuola and Aruna Quadri’s partnership registered Nigeria’s only gold medal at the 2015 ITTF-Africa Senior Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
Kazeem Makanjuola and Aruna Quadri have emerged new International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-Africa Men’s Doubles champions after seeing off the challenges of countrymen Onaolapo Ojo and Ogidiolu Jide in Wednesday’s final.
Makanjuola and Quadri overcame a slight mid-match deep to top the best of seven games 4-2.
As the ratings suggests the 4th-seeded duo accounted for No. 11 seed Nigerian pair of Ojo and Jide 11-6,11-9,7-11,10-12,12-10,12-10,- to clinch their first ever major international doubles title, while the latter settled for silver.
Speaking after the match, Makanjuola attributed their success to their ability to keep nerves in check and the familiarity between both winning mates.
“We were so calm during the match; when the match was two-two, we changed our tactic”, he explained. “We were also lucky to win the sixth game because we were leading 10-5 and they caught us at 10-10, so it was nobody’s game”.
“Aruna and I have been partners since junior days”, added Makanjuola Kazeem. “We played the doubles at the 2013 Kuwait, Qatar and Spanish Opens; so we are used to each other.”
Quadri said: “We were used to our opponents (in the final) and when it was two-two it was essential not to panic; I am very happy that we won our first title as doubles partner.”
The triumph increases Team Nigeria’s medal to four, after winning bronze and silver in the Women’s and Men’s Team events respectively prior to Day 6.
Quadri out of Men’s Singles event
2014 ITTF Male Star of the Year, Quadri, will have to wait further for a first Africa Senior Cup men’s singles winner’s medal having become casualty in a major upset on the penultimate round of the championhips.
The world number 30 suffered defeat at the hands of Egypt’s No. 195-ranked Mohamed El-Beiali (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5).
The outcome means the 26-year-old, who had been tipped ‘one-to-beat’ largely for his impressive performances in the past six months, has yet to win an ITTF-Africa Men’s Singles title.