*Women’s Singles Groups
By Solomon Nwoke
Homegirl and favorite Fatima Kazeem was quick to recover yesterday and kept up her game after dropping the first game against Algerian Lynda Loghraibi, as there were multiple other withdrawals at the qualifying stage of the Women’s Singles group stage of the ITTF Nigeria Open holding at Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.
Kazeem turned the tables in the second game against Loghraibi, winning the match 3-1 (5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7). Ghanaian Cecilia Frema and Congo Democratic’s Ammadine Litobaka sadly had to withdraw from the competition at the qualifying stage.
In the Men’s Singles group stage it was a no dice for Nigerians as Bastien Rembert from France and Senegalese Ibrahima Diaw spoiled the mood for the home crowd as they both conquered Nigerian opposition in Shamusi Agbaje and Yusuff Adewale Tijani in straight games.
Frenchman Rembert was in a hurry as his forehand display allowed Agbaje no chance to return. Senegal’s Diaw had to dig deeper with Tijani pushing him to the limit, despite the 3-0 scoreline.
However, the Nigeria’s youth brigade has started turning up the heat in the Under 21 Women’s Singles group stage as both Nimota Aregbesola and Ajoke Ojomu recorded wins in straight games.
Facing African opposition in Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby and Congo Democratic’s Ruth Mambenga Ntela respectively, both Nimota and Ajoke used the speed of their forehands to the best of their abilities.