The youngest players at the Nigeria Open 2018, the Mustapha brothers, who hail from Borno State, have been a big hit on social media. Mustapha Mustapha, 10, and his brother Musa, 9, played at their first international tournament on Wednesday in the U-21 men’s singles.

Despite being overpowered by their older opponents in both their two group matches, the Abuja-based duo took away valuable lessons with a vow to keep improving after picking up the sport via their father, Saheed Mustapha, a former player himself, just a year ago.

Mustapha Mustapha and his younger brother Musa impressed in the men’s U-21 category at the ongoing ITTF Nigeria Open.

Mustapha, whose role model is Germany’s Timo Boll, said: “We began playing Table Tennis in 2017 and have played in a few other tournaments but the Nigeria Open is our first international tournament. We have learned a lot from playing against more experienced players.”

The younger Musa, whose role model is Japan’s Harimoto Tamokazu, declared confidently: “I will win the Nigeria Open in future.”

Musa Mustapha made his first international appearance at the 2018 ITTF Nigeria Open.

Mustapha lost to Nigeria’s Augustine Emmanuel 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 in the first group game and to Wang Xinyang of China in the second.

Musa lost to Tobi Falana 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 in his first group game before falling to Wael Ziad of Egypt in his second game.

The experience gotten from the Nigeria Open 2018 will help the Mustapha brothers’ confidence as they continue their Table Tennis journey. 

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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