Eighth seeded Sarah Hanffou who hails from Cameroon tossed out second seed and one of the tournament favourites Olufunke Oshonaike (Nigeria) to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing ITTF Africa Cup at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on Friday.
The 2010 champion sealed the win with a 4-2 overall sets victory. She took the first set 11-6 before a determined Oshonaike powered to close the next two sets 14-12 and 11-8 to lead the match. Hanffou then turned the match on its head with three sets victories of 11-5, 11-5 and 11-8.
In another quarter-final pairing, fifth seeded Lynda Loghraibi from Algeria qualified for the semis by beating Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz 4-3. The women’s top seed Dina Meshref (Egypt) made light work of Seychelles’ Christy Bristol by sealing a comfortable 4-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4) sets victory.
Nigeria’s Offiong Edem, who is the fourth seeded player recovered from a set down to beat Tunisia’s Safa Saidani 4-2 (5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5,11-8) and also make it to the last four.
In the men’s division, second seeded Aruna Quadri from Nigeria eased past Ghana’s Derek Abrefa in flawless straight sets run of 11-2, 11-9, 11-1 and 11-8. Quadri’s victory set up a showdown with Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh who edged Tunisia’s Sami Kherouf 4-2 (11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 11-9).
Also in the last four is Congo’s Saheed Idowu who upset Segen Toriola 4-2 (6-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 10-12) in the quarter final. The men’s top seed Omar Assar (Egypt) also progressed after dispatching Tunisia’s Thameur Mamia 4-1 (11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3) and will face Idowu in the semi-finals.
The winners in both categories will qualify for the World Cup set for 2019 in Budapest, Hungary.