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2016 Nigerian Open: Shao Jieni wins in Lagos for second year running

Shao Jieni - photo by the ITTF

Pictured: Shao at the 2016 Nigerian Open – photo provided courtesy of the ITTF

Shao Jieni has won the Nigerian Open Women’s Singles title for the second year in a row, after the Portuguese player beat Szandra Pergel in the final. 

22-year-old Shao was seeded 1st for the 2016 competition and enjoyed a fairly trouble free passage to the final beating Janet Effiom (NGR), Offiong Edem (NGR) and Irina Ciobanu of Romania dropping just two games across the three ties. Hungary’s Pergel on the other hand very nearly didn’t even make the semi-finals after she narrowly passed Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon in seven ends in their last eight clash.

Shao Jieni vs Szandra Pergel (Nigerian Open Final) – video kindly shared by the ITTF

The final didn’t actually start too well for Shao as she lost the opening game (9-11), but that was her only blip in the match as she went on to crush Pergel over the next four ends. Game two saw Shao bring the tie level with an 11-8 victory, before three consecutive wins (11-4, 11-6, 11-9) brought the match to a close and gave Shao Jieni the Women’s Singles crown.

Benedek Olah - photo by the ITTF

Benedek Olah upset the order in Lagos – photo provided courtesy of the ITTF

When the draw for the 2016 Nigerian Open was made very few people would have predicted that Finland’s Benedek Olah (pictured above) would end up as the Men’s Singles Champion, but that was exactly the outcome.

Quadri Aruna (NGR) was the No.1 seed for the tournament but pulled out of the Open in the Round of 32, effectively widening the competition for the title. The last 16 saw the likes of Shady Magdy (EGY) and Diogo Chen (POR) exit while the semi-finals featured arguably the biggest upset of the Men’s Singles event as Olah beat Nigeria’s Segun Toriola in six games.

Benedek Olah vs Khalid Assar (Nigerian Open Final) – video kindly shared by the ITTF

Olah, just like Shao, fell 0-1 behind in the final with Assar taking game one (7-11). However, again in similar fashion to Shao, Olah won the next four ends (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5) to shockingly pick up the Men’s Singles title.

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