Egypt’s Goda, Assar win 2023 ITTF Africa Cup

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Egypt’s Hana Goda and Omar Assar were crowned women’s and men’s champions at the 2023 ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) Africa Cup here on Saturday.

   Despite a back injury scare, Assar defeated Quadri Aruna of Nigeria 4-1 in the men’s singles final.

   “This is the hardest ITTF Africa Cup I have ever played. I was very close to quitting when I arrived in Nairobi with an injury, but thanks to the Kenyan medical team for their efforts, as this wouldn’t have been possible,” said Assar.

   In the women’s final, Goda staged a stunning comeback to defend her title with a 4-3 victory over Olympian and multiple tournament winner Dina Meshref.

   Goda, 15, sank her compatriot in a pulsating final which treated the crowd to exhilarating table tennis, becoming the youngest ever player to defend a senior Africa continental title.

   “I am lost for words. I don’t know how to describe the win. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” an emotional Goda said after her triumph.   

   Goda is ranked fourth in the world among juniors and 37th overall in the ITTF rankings. 

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