Nigeria’s Kazeem Makanjuola has recorded his first victory at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation-sanctioned World Tours. The tour tagged Spanish Open is holding in the Spanish city of Almeria. The win on Wednesday became the first win for the Nigerian on the world tour having featured in two others previously this year without any win.
On Thursday, Nigerian players will be on duty as the doubles events starts in the five-day $100,000 prize money championship. Prior to the victory against Venezuela’s Nelson Villamieva, Makanjuola, a bronze medallist at the maiden Lagos Classics had suffered defeats at the Kuwait and Qatar Opens earlier this year, while he narrowly missed out from competing at the German Open.
On Wednesday, he halted his strings of losses on table three when he defeated his Venezuelan counterpart, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 with his last hurdle to secure a place in the main draw holding on Thursday against Spain’s Alfredo Carneros on table six.
Before departing for the tournament, Makanjuola had said that he would not return to the country empty-handed having tasted defeats in his two appearances at the World Tour.
Again, Ganiat Olatunde-Aruna failed to overcome India’s Shamini Kumaresan in her first group match. The Indian lady won the encounter with a 13-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 result.
In the preliminary of the doubles events, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Makanjuola got a bye to the last 32 where they are expected to tackle Denmark’s duo of Mikkel Hindesson and Kasper Sternberg on Thursday.
Also, the pair of Olatunde-Aruna and Edem Offiong will confront Chinese Taipei’s Hsin Huang and Hsing-Yin Liu on Thursday as well.