Veteran Nigerian table tennis star, Monday Merotohun, began his campaign at this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Nigeria Open with a convincing win over his compatriot Olasunkanmi Oginni in the opening day of the tournament on Wednesday.
Gold medalist in the doubles at the 2007 All Africa Games in Algiers and two-Olympian (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) Merotohun defeated Oginni 4-1 sets in the men’s singles qualifier group.
There was also a winning start for silver medal winner at the Algiers 2007 and Maputo 2011 All Africa Games Kazeem Nosiru in the men’s singles qualifier group.
Nosiru edged Nigeria’s Etim Orok 4-2 to begin the tournament with a perfect start.
Also, Italy-based Nigerian star Seun Ajetunmobi secured an opening day victory against Nigeria’s Wasiu Azeez 4-1.
In the women’s singles qualifier group, Cecilia Akpan defeated Vivian Oku of Nigeria 4-0. But Nigerian duo of Fatima Kazeem and Bukola Ajayi were not so lucky as they lost to Ghana’s Mareen Adom and India’s Reeth Tennison.
Kazeem was beaten 4-3 by Adom, while Ajayi got thrashed 4-0 by Tennison.
Another Nigerian women’s player Zainab Surmer lost 4-0 to Ghana’s Beatrice Gyasi.
The competition continues on Thursday as more players seek to secure qualification to the main singles draw which starts on Friday.