Depite reaching the final of the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in thrilling manners, Aruna Quadri and Offiong Edem failed to secure a Nigerian ticket to the World Cup.
Quadri, who defeated rival Omar Assar in an epic semifinal on Tuesday, fell 4-3 to another Egyptian, Ahmed Saleh in the final of the Tunis competition on Wednesday.
Saleh and her compatriot Dina Meshref claimed the men and women’s singles titles after the latter had also seen off Edem in the women’s final.
Saleh, whose last major title was in 2012 defeated number one Quadri 4-3 (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3) to emerge as the new champion.
“I am very happy because I could not imagine that I will go past Aruna in this tournament. All I did was to focus from the first point to the end,” said Saleh.
For Meshref, she continued her dominance in Africa when she edged out Offiong 4-1 (11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6) to retain the title, being her fourth trophy in the competition.
In the third place matches, Egypt’s Assar defeated Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 12-10) while Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou defeated Egypt’s Yousra Helmy 3-1 (11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10) to settle for bronze medals of men and women categories respectively.
The champions – Saleh and Meshref – will represent the continent at the 2020 ITTF World Cup later in the year.