Nigeria’s U-19 team to the 2022 ITTF Africa Youth Championships, at the weekend, qualified for the World Youth Championships by beating Egypt 3-1 in the final of the team event.
The win helped Nigeria to halt the dominance of Egypt in the team events of the 2022 ITTF Africa Youth Championships, with Taiwo Mati the hero at the expense of the North Africans.
The continental youth championships is returning after the last edition held in Accra, Ghana in 2019. According to the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), the tournament serves as qualifiers for the World Youth Championships holding later in the year in the same venue in Tunisia.
On the final day of the team event, Egypt had dominated the girls’ U-19 and U-15 categories and also avenged its group stage 3-1 loss to Nigeria, beating the trio of Matthew Kuti, Mustapha Mustapha and Musa Mustapha in the boys’ U-15 final.
With three gold medals already in their kitty on the final day of the team event, Nigeria’s trio of Taiwo Mati, Boboye Samuel and Muiz Adegoke ensured that the Egyptians did not make a clean sweep of the event with a convincing 3-1 win.
Mati that started the campaign on a winning note against Egypt’s Gamal Marwan with a 3-1 (11-1, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10) win, but Boboye failed to increase the tally when he lost 2-3 (5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-13) to Azzam Mohamed.
Adegoke restored Nigeria’s lead with a 3-1 (8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-8) win over Elshawa Ziad.
The star of the Nigerian team, Mati completed the 3-1 rout with a 3-1 (5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9) win to halter Egypt’s medal sweep in the team event.