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ITTF Africa Championship: Mati Taiwo falls to Aruna Quadri despite valiant effort

Quadri set to face long-time rival for gold medal

Nigerian table tennis prodigy Mati Taiwo saw his run at the ongoing ITTF Africa Senior Championship in Algeria come to an end at the hands of Africa’s leading player Aruna Quadri. The teenager fell in the semifinals to end his chances of earning a place in the final of the competition.

In what is a quite normal scene in African table tennis, an all-Nigerian semifinal between two players considered as representatives of two eras took place. While Mati Taiwo is the up-and-coming star of Nigerian table tennis, Aruna Quadri is the one who has seen it all in the sport and the highest ranking African ever in table tennis history.

Still basking in the glory of his famous win over Egyptian star Ahmed Saleh in the quarterfinals, Taiwo, who holds the African U-19 title, looked to get one over Quadri. The youngster, however, fell short on the day as the veteran showed him that the time to dethrone him has not arrived. Quadri claimed a 4-0 (11-6 11-9 11-9 14-12) win over his young opponent to qualify for the final.

While Taiwo will have surely learnt from his match against Quadri, the veteran will progress to face longstanding rival Omar Assar for the coveted title. The duo have faced in each of the last two finals, with each of them triumphing once.

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