At 17, Samuel Boboye is making his senior debut as a member of the Nigerian team to the 2021 ITTF African Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.
But he had not tasted action since arriving Yaounde, until Sunday September 5. And boy, what a way for the sensational Nigerian teenager to announce his arrival on the senior scene of African table tennis!
In his first match of the men’s singles event, Boboye caused a major upset when he convincingly beat Olympian Larbi Bouriah of Algeria 4-0 in first round.
The Nigeria national junior champion showed a maturity that belies his age in this superlative encounter with the number 19 seed.
Boboye controlled the game from start to finish with his near-perfect performance against one of Africa’s most experienced players.
He was flawless with his strokes and returned those of his opponent, leaving the latter dumbfounded many times in the match.
Regarded as the first major upset in the singles events, Boboye was easily the better of the two players, winning 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 to the admiration of the fans at the Sports Palace Complex in Yaounde.
An elated Boboye said: “I knew nothing about him apart from his being one of the players that featured at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I was very confident going into the match and I was very positive throughout the entire match. I am happy to win my first game.
“I am in Cameroon to give my best and I am so excited to be a part of the team that has Quadri Aruna. His presence alone motivates me and I am hoping that I can go far and be ready to face any opponent that comes my way,” Boboye said.
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