Table Tennis: Omar Assar, Shao Jieni Triumph in Lagos Open Singles

Omar Assar defeated Aruna Quadri to clinch his second successive International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Lagos Open World Tour title on Saturday.

The second seed Egyptian saw off Quadri 12-10, 13-15, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 in a tense final of the Men’s Singles event at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall.

Top seed Quadri had eliminated his compatriot Ojo Onaolapo 13-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in the last 4 to set-up Omar, who also accounted for Portugal’s fourth seed André Silva in four straight games 11-8, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7.

Omar Assar Wins Back-to-Back Lagos Open Men's Singles Title. Image: NTTF.
Omar Assar Wins Back-to-Back Lagos Open Men’s Singles Title. Image: NTTF.

Similar to this year’s ITTF-Africa Senior Cup in Cairo, the reigning Star Player compensated for his disappointment in the singles with victory in the doubles.

The partnership between Aruna and Makanjuola Kazeem prevailed over the Portuguese duo of André Silva and Diogo Silva 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 to claim the Men’s Doubles gold.

Defeat for women’s top seed

Egypt’s highest ranked woman at the 2015 Lagos Open, Dina Meshref, could not replicate his winning formula from January’s ITTF-Africa Championship as an unseeded Portuguese Shao Jieni took the spotlight on the final day of the world series event.

Shao, who earlier in the semi-finals of the Under-21 Women’s Singles event lost 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 to the No. 106th-ranked Dina, paid back with a hard-fought seven games win in Saturday’s showdown.

The Portuguese closed out an 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 13-11, 11-8 win- her best ever finish in a Women’s Singles event on the ITTF World Tour.

Shao saw off veteran Nigerian Olufunke Oshonaike 11-5, 11-5, 13-11, 11-3 in the semi-finals, while Dina had discarded another home favourite Offiong Edem. It was likewise best ever finishes for Edem and Funke on the ITTF World Tour circuit having previously reached the last 8 in Lagos in 2014.

Fresh from denying each other in the Women’s Singles final, Dina and Shao teamed up to beat Nigeria’s Cecilia Akpan and and Edem in the final of the Doubles event 13-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-2.


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