A mixed day for some top seeds

 

BATRA Manika (1)

Manika Batra – she faces Singapore’s Zhou Yihan in the first Women’s Singles Semi Final

The penultimate day of the 20th Commonwealth Championships saw all the events move to the semi finals except the mixed doubles which was completed today

Men’s Singles

The top seeds were a bit decimated in the Men’s Singles. In the bottom half of the draw Gavin Rumgay of Scotland faced No 2 seed Soumyajit Ghosh from India and went down in 4 straight games and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran again of India faced Chen Fen of Singapore and that went to Feng 4-2 . The top half was all Indian, Abhishek Yadav faced Amalraj Anthony and lost 4-0 while Samil Shetty faced Harmeet Desai. This match ebbed and flowed and finally went to Shetty 16-14 in the seventh game

So tomorrows Semi Finals will be Indians  Amalraj Anthony v Samil Shetty and Singapore’s Chen Fen v India’s Soumyajit Ghosh, the Number 2 seed

Women’s Singles

The first round in the morning whittled the competitors down to 8, 5 Indians Shamini Kumararesan, Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Pooja  Sahasrabudhe and Antika Das, 2 players from Singapore the no 1 and no 2 seeds Zhou Yihan and Lin Ye and 1 from England Tin-Tin Ho.

In the quarter finals in the afternoon Tin Tin Ho was defeated in 5 games by Manika Batra of India while the two Singapore seeds won 4-2 each and the other semifinalist is Mouma Das who won a real battle with her compatriot Pooja Sahasrabudhe winning the match 11-8 in the seventh game

So tomorrows semi finals will be Zhou Yihan against Manika Batra amd Mouma Das against Lin Ye, all the top four seeds playing each other

Men’s Doubles

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia, the no.5 seeds, received a quarter-final walk-over against Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Li Hu; at the same stage Sudhanshu Grover and Abhishek Yadav, the no.7 seeds, also progressed courtesy of Singapore. They accounted for Chen Feng and Pang Xue Jie, the no.4 seeds

In the semi finals Sudhanshu Grover and Abhishek Yadav meet Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai, the top seeds;  Amalraj Anthony and Sanil Shetty, the no.3 seeds oppose Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia, the no.5 seeds

Women’s Doubles

The one upset was defeat for England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos, the no.4 seeds, defeat at the hands of Singapore’s Pearlyn Koh and Yee Herng Hwee, the no.6 seeds was not necessarily anticipated..

At the semi-final stage Li Ye and Zhou Yihan, the top seeds, meet Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan, the no.3 seeds; Pearlyn Koh and Yee Herng Hwee oppose Manika Batra and Mouma Das, the no.2 seeds

Mixed Doubles

The Mixed Doubles final was an all Indian affair  Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das were handed a walk over as their Singapore opponents had to withdraw due to illness and in the all Indian bottom half  Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Antika Das defeated Shanil Shetty and Manika Batra.

Two sisters thus playing each other in a Commonwealth final all being that they are with two male partners. The title went to Antika Das and her partner Sathiyan Gnanasekarasn in a highly competitive 4 games.

A day of qualification and doubles

GHOSH Soumyajit (1)Soumyajit Ghosh, No 2 seed in the Mens Singles

Day 4 of the 20th Commonwealth Championships was given over to Qualification Groups for the Mens and Womens Singles and rounds of doubles in all three doubles events

Mens Singles

In the Mens Singles qualifying there was just one qualifier in each group. There were few shocks as Sanil Shetty (IND), Marius Yangou(CYP),  David McBeath (ENG), Pang Xue Jie (SIN), Sudhanshu Grover (IND), Paul McCreery (NIR), Craig Howieson (SCO), Abhishek Yadav (IND), Helshan Weerasinghe (ENG) and Ashley Robinson (NIR) all qualified from the No 1 position in the group. So did Devesh Karia (IND) who defeated the dangerous Ryan Jenkins from 2 games to one behind, the only upset was in group 10 where Alex Ramsden (ENG) prevailed.

Howieson v Yadav, McCreery v Weerashinghe, Ramsden v Yangou and Pang Xue Jie v Robinson in the last 32 begin tomorrows play

Womens Singles

Less certainty for the number 1 player to progress in the Womens Singles. Pooja Sahasrabudhe (IND), Karina Le Fevre (ENG), Maria Tsaptsinos (ENG) and Erandi Warusawithana (SRI) all qualified in this way.

Other qualifiers were Divya Deshpande (IND), Madhurika Patkar (IND), Louiza Kourea (CYP) and Kritiwika Roy (IND) these four all qualified after unexpected wins in their groups

These 8 qualifiers now meet the 8 seeded players in the last 16 round tomorrow

Mixed Doubles

The Mixed doubles has progressed all the way to the semi finals where Li Hu and Zhou Yihan the number 1 seeds face Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das of India in the top half of the draw. In the bottom half of the draw it is all India, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Anika Das face Sanil Shetty and Manika Batra who ousted the number two seeds from Singapore, Chew and Lin Ye in the quarter finals

Mens Doubles

The Mens Doubles has reached the quarter final stage and all four quarter final matches has an Indian presence.

No 1 seeds, Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai play Gavin Rumgay and Craig Howieson (SCO),  Sudhanshu Grover and Abhishek Yadav face Pang Xue Jie and Cheng Feng (SIN). In the bottom half Anthony Amilraj and Samil Shetty of India must play  Marius Yangou and Hristo Hristonov (CYP).

The fourth quarterfinal match pairs Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia of India against the no 2 seeds Clarence Chew Zhe Yu and Li Hu of Singapore

Womens Doubles

The Womens Doubles has also reached the quarter final stage. No 1 seeds Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan play the Indian pair of Madhurika Patkar and Pooja Sahasrabudhe. Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan also from India face the South African pair of Khanyisile Madlala and Zodwa Maphanga.

In the bottom half Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos of England play Koh Kai Xin Pearlyn and Yee Herng Hwee from Singapore and Ashley Given and Emma Ludlow of Northern Ireland face Manika Batra and Ankita Das the No 2 seeds from India

Gold medals for Singapore(Women) and India(Men)

EnglandThe England team after their victory over Singapore

 

The final stages of the team events began today in the 20th Commonwealth Championships in Surat, India and there were some surprises along the way.

The Womens Team semi finals however went with the Seeding with Singapore the Number 1 seeds defeating Wales and India the no 2 seeds defeating England

The final went the way of Singapore who defeated India 3-1 while in the bronze medal match England defeated Wales by the same score.

Final positions in the Womens Teams were as follows

1) Singapore
2) India
3) England
4) Wales
5) Sri Lanka
6) Cyprus
7) South Africa
8) Northern Ireland
9) Trinidad and Tobago

In the Mens Team the unexpected result came in Group E as the 3rd seeds England defeated the No 1 seeds Singapore by 3-2 in the final match of the second stage group. It was a true team effort from England with each of the three players taking a win. India the Number 2 Seeds duly took their place in the Final from Group F defeating Scotland 3-0

The final between India and England started with a good win for David McBeath over Harmeet Desai but after that it was all India and they took the gold medal with a 3-1 scoreline

Final Positions for the Men Teams were as follows

1) India
2) England
3) Singapore
4) Northern Ireland
5) Scotland
6) South Africa
7) Sri Lanka
8) Trinidad and Tobago
9) Cyprus
10) Wales
11) New Zealand
12) Jersey

Great win for Northern Ireland, Ashley Robinson the top performer

ROBINSON Ashley (1)

Ashley Robinson two great 5 game victories

The top seeded teams continued to sweep everybody else away and with a string of 3-0 victories Singapore, India  and England  booked top slots in the stage 3 matches to come, but for the 4th Seeded team, Scotland it was a very different story as No 6 Seeds Northern Ireland gained a win in a very competitive match 3-2 to probably consign Scotland into a 5th/6th playoff match.

Things started  much as the Scots would have hoped, Gavin Rumgay disposing of Paul McCreery in 5 very tight games. Craig Howieson lost to Ashley Robinson once also in a 5 game match and  Chris Wheeler overcame Owen Cathcart in 4 games. Scotland 2-1 up with 2 matches to go.

The trouble was  the Irish won both of the remaining matches Ashley Robinson started the turnaround coming back from a 2 game deficit to win a huge deuce third game and go on from there to defeat Gavin Rumgay in 5 tight games. Paul McCreery took the final match against Craig Howieson 3-1 again coming back from a game down and Northern Ireland celebrated like they had won the event, the chances being that they will play for the 3rd/4th place tomorrow afternoon against England who are likely to finish second in the other group

The Womens teams completed their 2nd stage groups today, again Singapore were dominant in group E beating England 3-1, Karina Le Fevre beating Zhang Wanling in 3 straight games thus winning the one game for England to relegate England to second slot in the group.

The Womens groups cross over so England face India and Wales face Singapore in the semifinal matches tomorrow morning after Wales went down 3-0 to India,

Cyprus and Sri Lanka will play of for 5th/6th tomorrow  and the 7/9th playoff group G will be finished tomorrow too, South Africa have finished in 7th place already and Northern Ireland and Trinidad and Tobago will finish off tomorrow too.

The Commonwealth Championships are well underway

CAREY Charlotte (1)

Charlotte Carey won both her games against England

The  Commonwealth Championships began in Surat, India  yesterday after a superb opening ceremony on the day before.

No shocks really but there were several very close calls, but none really for the favorites in the Mens competition where there were four groups of three, with 8 of the twelve teams qualifying for the 2nd stage by placing first or Second in the 1st Stage groups

In Group A Top seeds Singapore were dominant as were second seeds India and 3rd seeds England, only fourth seeds Scotland were a little troubled as they defeated South Africa 3-1 . Terrence Mathole of South Africa  beating Calum Main of Scotland in the 3rd match of the fixture

The fireworks were reserved for the last match of the day as New Zealand and Sri Lanka fought out a nail biting match in Group A for second place. It was still playing long after all other matches had completed. Suitably it moved to  2 individual Matches all and 2 games all in the fifth set of the final match.

There was just one game left to decide which team would progress and it looked to be New Zealand’s as Matthew Ball raced to a 10-4 lead over Nirmala Jaya Singha but 10-4 became 10-8 and then 10-10. New Zealand gained another match point at 11-10 but three additional unanswered points gave the tie to Sri Lanka

In the draw for second stage groups was made  as follows

group E comprises Singapore, England, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa

Group F is made up of India, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland

Group G for positions 9-12 is made up of Wales, New Zealand, Cyprus and Jersey

There were three groups in the initial stage of the Women’s Team event  the top three all concluded the first phase unbeaten and thus in top spot.

It was a comfortable day for Singapore, the top seeds, as it was for the host nation, the next outfit in the order of merit; however, for England, the no.3 seeds, life was a bit more testing

Represented by Zhou Yihan, Yee Herng Hwee and Pearlyn Koh, a three-nil win was posted by Singapore in opposition to the Cyprus trio comprising Alexia Christodoulu, Louiza Kourea and Sophia Koni in their opening contest.

A successful start, with Lin Ye and Zhang Wanling replacing Zhou Yihan and Pearlyn Koh, a three-one success was posted against South Africa; the one errant match being the defeat of Yee Herng Hwee by Khanyisilie Madlala in the second match of the fixture (11-5, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Notably, it was to be the only reverse experienced by Singapore. Lin Ye beat both Danisha Patel (11-7, 11-7, 11-6) and Khanyisile Madlala (11-2, 11-2, 12-10); whilst in the third match of the contest, Zhang Wanling defeated Zodwa Maphanga (12-10, 11-9, 11-8).

Comprehensive wins for Singapore; it was the same from India.

Fielding the trio of Mouma Das, Manika Batra and Shamini Kumaresan, a three-nil win was posted against the Northern Ireland outfit formed by Ashley Given, Emma Ludlow and Emma McSorley, before, with no changes to the selection, the same margin of victory was recorded in opposition to Sri Lanka’s Hansani Kapugeekiyana, Erandi Warusawithana and Ishara Madurangi.

Success in style for the top two teams, for the England, it was to be success but but not without some pain

Represented throughout by Tin-Tin Ho, Karina Le Fevre and Maria Tsaptsinos; the day started in a positive manner with a three-nil win recorded against Trinidad and Tobago’s Linda Partap, Catherine Spicer and Brittany Joseph.

However, against neighbours Wales, life was much different with Charlotte Carey being the player to cause the problems.

She beat both Karina Le Fevre (11-6, 18-16, 2-11, 11-6) and Tin-Tin Ho (15-13, 12-10, 11-7) but that was to prove the only success for the principality.

Chloe Thomas experienced defeats at the hands of Tin-Tin Ho (7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5) and in the vital fifth and decisive match of the fixture in opposition to Karina Le Fevre (11-3, 5-11, 12-10, 12-10). The one further success for England was gained by Maria Tsaptsinos in the third match of the fixture against Megan Phillips (11-6, 11-8, 11-4).

Defeat for Wales but like Cyprus and Sri Lanka they gained second place in their group and thus medal hopes remain alive.

Teams finishing in first and second places in each group progress to a further group stage to compete for medal positions; the winners and runners up in the second stage groups advance to the semi-final stage.

The third place teams from the initial groups compete for seventh to ninth places.

Play in the second stage groups concludes on Thursday 17th December.

The draw for the Womens Team second stage came out as

Group C: Singapore, England, Sri Lanka

Group D: India, Cyprus, Wales

Group E for Positions 7-9: South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Northern Ireland

Quadri, Oshonaike qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics

 

For making it to the semifinal of the singles event of table tennis at the 2015 African Games, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Olufunke Oshonaike have secured places in the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

 

Funke Oshonaike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the efforts of Segun Toriola to play in his seventh Olympics was halted as he was defeated 4-1 in the quarterfinal by Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan, while Ojo Onaolapo also missed out after losing 4-1 to Egypt’s Khalid Assar.

To ascertain their spots , Quadri fought gallantly against Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh with an emphatic 4-1 win, while Oshonaike booted out Egypt’s Yousry Helmy 4-1.

Other players that have secured their spot at the Olympics are Egyptian Assar brothers, Omar and Khalid as well as Chinese-born Congo Brazzavile’s Wang Jianan.

 

Oshonaike will be making her sixth appearances and she will be joined in Rio by Egypt’s duo of Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly as well as Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing

Meanwhile, the most decorated African athlete, Nigeria’s Segun Toriola was celebrated at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville as the former continental champion marked his 41th birthday in a grand style.

With a special cake by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), the venue stood still for Toriola as fans and players honoured the former African Champion.

According to ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy, Toriola is a role model and good ambassador of the continent.

ARUNA Quadri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toriola is an African sports legend– ATTF

TORIOLA Segun (NGR)Impressed with the quality display coupled with conduct on and off the table, the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy has described Nigeria’s Segun Toriola as a sports legend in the continent.

As as today, no athletes in Africa has won more medals than Toriola at the African Games as the Nigeria has won over 15 gold medal since making his debut at the games at Cairo 1991 in Egypt.

Speaking during the birthday celebration of the former African champion held during the just concluded 2015 African Games, El-Salhy said the performance of Toriola in Brazzaville has shown that he remains a role model for upcoming players across the continent.

“Toriola is a model of a real top player who is dedicated in promoting himself as well as good ambassador of table tennis in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world. He is a real legend of table tennis in Africa by winning the largest number of gold medals in all his seven appearances at the games. The upcoming players should concentrate on the sport and ensure that they work hard wherever they find themselves,” the ATTF helmsman said.

Toriola, who dream of making it to his seventh Olympics was halted in the quarterfinal stage of the men’s singles event by Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan remains the most successful player to have won 15 gold medals at the African Games.

Also, President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi said: “I must also commend the hard work of our legendary team captain Segun Toriola who just seems to get better with age. His calmness creativity and brilliance on the table coupled with his humility off the table singles him out as a great ambassador of our sport.”

Meanwhile, eight players have been confirmed to have secured their places at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

The players – Egypt’s Assar brothers, Omar and Khalid; Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan  for the men while the women has Egypt’s duo of Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly as well as Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike and Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing.

 

Ahead of 2015 African Games: I’ll make my inclusion count in Brazzaville – Onaolapo

Nigeria's Ojo Onaolapo serves the ball to India's Kamal Sharath Achanta (unseen) during their Bronze Medal Team table tennis match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo serves the ball to India’s Kamal Sharath Achanta (unseen) during their Bronze Medal Team table tennis match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Ojo Onaolapo is no stranger to big occasion.

He saved Nigeria at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when his unexpected victory over highly-rated India’s Sharath Achanta fetched the country the bronze medal won by the men’s team at the tournament.

Onaolapo, 21, made the cut for the nine-man team to the 2015 African Games told NationSport yesterday that his inclusion in the team will be meaningful in Congo Brazzaville.

“I think I see it as a rare privilege to be part of the Nigerian team to the African Games especially to be in same team with great players like Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri. For me I must utilize this chance to prove what I am capable of doing. There is no doubt that Egyptians are our main challengers in Brazzaville and I am confident that with the kind of training we have been and the spirit in camp, we can turn the table against the North Africans. I won’t be going to the games to add to the number but to make the kind of impact I made during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games to help the team win the men’s event. I am sure we can dethrone Egypt in the men’s team with the quality of players in our team,” he said.

Acknowledging the task of making the team, he said: “I must tell you that it was not that easy making the final list of players to the games. The presence of former champions like Monday Merotohun and Kazeem Nosiru as well as others really made it tasking this year because for you to prove yourself, you must be able to beat champions. So for me, I knew I had to be at my best during the trials and I thank God that I made the cut. My focus now is on the games and I hope I can be at my best in Brazzaville.”

The former junior national champion however, expressed his delight over the engagement of the German tactician, who is expected to arrive this weekend to start working with the team. “I am happy that we are having such quality of coach to be part of the team. We hope he can help us to correct some of our mistakes before the games and his presence will also motivate us to do well. We are looking forward to working with him and we hope his experience can help us greatly at the games,” Onaolapo said.

Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

German coach to handle Nigeria table tennis team to 2015 African Games

Unveiling of the coachNigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Technical Adviser, Martin Adomeit (third from right); Secretary General, NTTF, Chinedu Ezeala-Ogundare (second right), Board Members, Olabanji Oladapo (third from left); Alderson Bankole (second left); Tajudeen Agunbiade (left) and National Coach, Nosiru Bello

To ensure that Nigeria performs well at the 2015 African Games, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has engaged former German national coach, Martin Adomeit as its technical adviser.

The hiring of the coach was made possible through the financial support of the National Sports Commission (NSC).

The German tactician guided Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri to the quarterfinal stage of the 2014 ITTF World Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany and he is expected to arrive Nigeria this week to start working with the team in readiness for the games.

From 1978 to 1980 Martin Adomeit worked at youth level of clubs with Germany-based Soest TV and TuS Ampen. In 1981 he joined the TuS Jahn Soest and was part of the  technical crew of the team’s female team in the Bundesliga League and in 1984, he took over as coach of the women’s team of the club. He also served from 1988 to 1997 as honourary coach of the West German Table Tennis Association (WTTA).

In 1996, he was appointed as an assistant coach by the German Table Tennis Association DTTB and in 1997 he ended all previous activities at club levels and took over the post of national coach of the German female team.

Under his tutelage, the German women’s team won three consecutive times the European League as well as winner of the 1998 and 1999 European Ladies Team Championship while in 2000, the team won silver.

For this feat, the Association of German Table Tennis Coaches named Adomeit as the coach of the year in 1999.

After the poor outing of the German team at the 2000 ITTF World Cup, Adomeit stepped down and was replaced by Richard Prause as women’s coach. Adomeit now assumed responsibility for the female junior team.

From August 2004 to April 2007, Adomeit worked as coach and sporting director in Luxembourg while he also handled the Belgium national team from 2008 to 2010.

From 2010, he has been working as Independent coach in camps for players and coaches for the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and ITTF, German Organising Committee (OC), coach education in Germany as well as personal coach to top players across the globe.

The 51 year-old Dortmund-born tactician is a licensed coach, who studied at the German Sport University in Cologne.

Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer