Fifteen-year-old Goda of Egypt made history by becoming the youngest African singles champion, as Nigerian veteran Aruna secured his eighth continental title overall in Tunis
By Evelyn Watta
The Nigerian top seed retained his men’s singles title with a convincing 4-0 [11-2, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6] victory at the same venue where he missed his direct qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"I am happy with the title because I have a good and bad memory of Tunis, having got injured here during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification," the 35-year-old said.
"Winning another title here is good to erase the bad memory. This win will remain with me for a long time. I am happy and I look forward to the next challenge."
Since 2018, Aruna has secured three African singles titles, triumphed in doubles three times, and emerged victorious in two team events.
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Africa’s youngest table tennis champion Hana Goda in no rush: “I am taking it step by step, and just be a worthy champion"
In the women's final, 15-year-old prodigy Hana Goda made history once again by becoming the youngest ever singles champion.
The two-time Africa Cup winner denied compatriot Dina Meshref a seventh African gold with an inspiring 4-1 [11-7, 11-4, 13-11, 8-11, 11-4] win. Last year, Goda became Africa's youngest table tennis champion, when she struck gold at the ITTF-Africa Cup aged 14.
"This is special especially with the support from the Tunisian fans. I will cherish this for a long time to come," said the fast rising teenager of her third victory over her idol and compatriot Meshref at the continental level.
In May 2022, the Egyptian became the youngest-ever senior continental cup winner after claiming the ITTF-Africa Cup in Lagos.
"I want to take it step by step, and just be worthy of this. Show the people that I deserve to be on this rank," Goda told Olympics.com in an interview on her impressive performances.