August 19, 2017

Oshonaike reclaims African title

FUNKE 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  pulled a convincing (7-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11) win.

A joyful Oshonaike said: I knew it was going to be tough because she has been 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.

She also acknowledged the impact of Segun Toriola, who was her handler.

“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 and  despite the challenges of making it to Morocco,” she said.

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.

Assar, the winner said: “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.