Bello, Quadri fall in ITTF African Cup finals

Promising Nigerian tennis star, Fatimo Bello, lost to Egypt’s Hana Gona in the final of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Cup championship in Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.

Bello had started well and sustained a blistering form which enabled her to defeat fellow compatriot Offiong Edem in the quarter-finals and proceeded in a stunning comeback win to humble Egypt’s Mariam Alhodaby.

The semi-final between the Nigerian youngster and the 2021 champion was sensational as Bello came from a 3-1 slack to record a 4-3 win over Alhodaby in the women’s singles.

However, Egyptian teenager, Hana Gona, who defeated Nigeria’s toprated player and seven-time Olympian, Funke Oshonaike, 11-13, 6-11, 8-11, 6-1 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall at the stadium, did not spare Bello in a flawless fourset victory in the women’s singles final.

Bello, who dreams to pursue her career in the international clime, attributed her success in the championship to hard work and effective training.

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Meanwhile, Nigeria’s top star and 2020 champion, Aruna Quadri has been defeated by Egyptian Omar Assar in the final. Assar, who is the defending champion retained his diadem after he recorded a second win in the final against Quadri.

The defending champion, who has a history with Quadri, altered the outcome of their 19th meeting with a win to extend the head-tohead record to 11-8.

However, the game between the two champions was evenly contested as both had a tie in the 6th set (3- 3) before Assar conquered Quadri in the deciding set to win 4-3 in the men’s singles final.

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