Egypt table tennis star, Omar Assar, has expressed his gratitude to Lagos fans after he won the men's singles title at the just concluded International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos on Sunday.
Assar defeated India’s Sarthak Gandhi in the final 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8) to make history as the first player to win the men’s singles title thrice as well as unbeaten in all his participation in the tournament.
According to ITTF-Africa, Assar believes the fans played a crucial role in his triumph at this year's edition.
“I feel very wonderful winning this competition again. This competition is very special for me because it being hosted in Lagos," Assar smiles.
"The fans in Lagos have been very supportive in me claiming the title. So I need to ensure I play very well because many people are waiting to see me winning the title.
"From the start of the tournament, there have been a lot of improvements among the Nigerians and Egyptians, while I am particularly thrilled with the performance of the Indians."
Assar, who is Aruna Quadri’s partner in men’s doubles, believes the Nigerian would return stronger following his round of 16 exit in the men's singles.
“Aruna Quadri and others played really well. But I am always proud whenever I and Aruna Quadri play in the final of any major event because it helps to promote the sport in Africa.
"Aruna Quadri is a very good player and I am sure next he will make a comeback and have better competition next time,” he said.