Arguably the queen of the game ping pong in Nigeria, Olufunke Oshonaike reclaimed her long lost African title at the ITTF African Senior Championships after beating Egypt’s Dina Meshref 4-2 in the final of the women’s singles.
The Egyptian has been unbeaten in the last two years, but Oshonaike with her experience overcame the young North African to emerge as the new continent number one star.
An elated Oshonaike said she was happy that her experience was very handy against the Egyptian. To emerge as the new African Champion, Oshonaike won (7-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11).
A joyful Oshonaike said: “I knew it was going to be tough because being the African champion and having remained unbeaten in the last two years. I just told myself to go out there and have fun and show my experience and when it started working I gained more confidence. But when the match was 2-2 my coach, Segun Toriola told me not to give up and I kept on going and it worked for me at last.
This victory means a lot to me that I can still become African champion despite my age. It shows that nothing is possible regardless of age inasmuch as you put your mind at it. I am so happy despite the challenges of making it to Morocco. I feel great and I am so excited that I can still do it and this is also an inspiration for girls that no matter your age, you can achieve whatever you put your mind into in life,” Olufunke Oshonaike concluded.
However, Aruna Quadri’s efforts of becoming the continent champion failed as the Nigerian fell 4-3 to defending champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar in an entertaining final.
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An elated Omar Assar told NationSport after the match, “It was really a crazy match becuause against Aruna is always very exciting. I think I gave my 100 per cent concentration and I was listen more to my coach, Helmy Ashraf. I think Aruna played very well because he was always changing service and he was more aggressive on his forehand.
I am so happy retaining the title and I hope I can play better than this in future tournament,” Assar said.