Nigeria’s Obiora, Chukwuemeka Claim Gold Medals At Morocco Para Table Tennis Open

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Nigeria’s duo of Chineye Obiora and Francis Chukwuemeka dominated their class in the singles event at the 1st Morocco Para Table Tennis Open Championship holding in Agadir
Obiora, a Commonwealth Games medallist was unbeaten to clinch gold in the Women’s Singles Class 1-5.
In a group organised event, she finished ahead of the Moroccan trio of Mariama Guenaoui, Najat Xelomari and Zineb Nmer.
“My coach prepared me well for this Championship, I train every day for two hours”, said Obiora who was clearly delighted to be in Agadir.
“Moroccan player are my biggest opponents and I must prepare myself thoroughly”, added Chineye Obiora. “Here in Morocco they are very friendly and I am very comfortable here.”
Success came the way of Nigeria and to some extent unexpected success, in the guise of Francis Chukwuemeka on the first day of play, at the 1st Morocco Para Open Championships in Agadir.
He won the Men’s Singles Class 9-10 title. Occupying the second seeded position in the competition he finished his first phase matches unbeaten, ahead of Kuwait’s Ali Alsanea and Morocco’s Mohamed El-Mrabet, before accounting for Abdullah Alkhaldi, also from Kuwait, at the semi-final stage (11-2, 11-7, 11-7) and Karim Boumedouha of France, the top seed, in the final (7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-7).
Earlier, Karim Boumedouha had concluded his group ahead of Kuwait’s Abdullah Alkhaldi and Morocco’s Al-Moutaouakil Bilal, before at the semi-final stage overcoming Ali Alsanea (11-3, 11-7, 11-5).
“Karim and myself are very familiar with each other, we both play in the French League, he has beaten me twice and I have beaten him once”, explained Francis Chukwuemeka, when speaking to Omar Refaat, the 1- year-old Press Officer on duty in Agadir
Well known to each other, undoubtedly that fact produced a hard fought contest.
“It was a very close match, I changed my tactics and plans so I could beat him; Karim has a very good serve and also he plays from outside the table very well”, added Francis Chukwuemeka. “I kept changing the direction of the play; that is a major reason why I won.”
Tactical awareness and experience brought Francis Chukwuemeka success.
“I have been playing in the French league for eight years”, added Francis Chukwuemeka. “Also, I had a tough match in the semi-final against Ali Alsanea. “I had to focus and concentrate more to beat him “
Gold for Francis Chukwuemeka and Chineye Obiora; understandably it was it was a delighted Njoku Chiwedu, the Nigerian National Coach.
“Our preparation for the tournament was very excellent”, he said. “My country tried hard to make us ready, they have provided everything for us; they also managed a camp for two months in Nigeria to make us ready.”
“We want to qualify for the Paralympic Games”, stressed Njoku Chiwedu. “There are a many countries competing here, we have tough opponents, I guess Morocco is our biggest opponent but I guess we can make it and win more titles.”
Two titles for Nigeria, to date it has been a very successful visit to Agadir.

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