By Paul Osborne

Egypt have won both the men's and women's team titles at the 2015 ITTF-Africa Senior Championships in Cairo ©ITTFEgypt have retained both their men's and women's team titles at the 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-Africa Senior Championships in Cairo.

Top seeds in both categories, the Egyptians overcame second seeds Nigeria on both fronts to secure the continental title on home soil.

It was no easy feat, however, with both finals stretching to five matches following some incredible table tennis from the African contingents.

It took a remarkable recovery for the hosts to seal women's gold after Offiong Edem and Olufunke Oshonaike saw off the challenges of Nadeen El-Dawlatly and Dina Meshref respectively.

The third match saw 19-year-old Yousra Helmy ignite the flame of hope as she beat Cecilia Offiong, before Meshref returned to form to impart the one and only defeat in the whole event over Edem.

The comeback was completed by El-Dawlatly as she swept her opening defeat under the carpet to secure victory against Oshonaike, to the rapturous applause of the mostly Egyptian crowd.

"The win was special because I have never beaten Funke Oshoniake before," said El-Dawlatly.

"In the first match against Offiong Edem, I was a bit nervous and I knew we might likely meet again, so I just played my game.

"I can believe that we could come back and this victory was indeed very special for us as a team."

Egypt's men's team battled past the ferocity of ITTF Male Table Tennis Star Quadri Aruna to overcome Nigeria 3-2 in the final ©ITTFEgypt's men's team battled past the ferocity of ITTF Male Table Tennis Star Quadri Aruna to overcome Nigeria 3-2 in the final ©ITTF

El-Sayed Lashin was the hero of the hour for Egypt in the men's final as he wrapped up gold with a final match victory over Ojo Onaolapo.

Lashin had fallen at the feet of ITTF Male Table Tennis Star Quadri Aruna, who remains unbeaten in the competition, in the opening match.

Omar Assar had levelled matters for Egypt by beating Ojo Onaolapo before Ahmed Ali Saleh gave the hosts a two matches to one lead when proving too experienced for Jide Ogidiolu.

Aruna returned to the table to beat Assar and level the tie at 2-2, setting up the all-decisive match-up between Lashin and Onaolapo, which made history for the 2013 World Team Cup bronze medallists Egypt.

The victory moved Ali Saleh's to a record 17th African table tennis gold medal.

"I felt very happy winning my 17th gold medals in African tournament and excited that we won the title again in Cairo after the triumph in 2012," said Ali Saleh.

"It was fantastic for the team, and for me winning 17 medals is great."

The ITTF-African Championships are due to continue on Tuesday (January 27), with the mixed doubles, women's and men's doubles, and the women's and men's singles titles up for grabs over the next four days.

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