Omar Assar secured the men's singles title for the third time ©Getty Images

Egypt’s Mariam Alhodaby was crowned women’s singles champion for the first time at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Championships after winning a thrilling final against Hana Goda in Yaoundé in Cameroon.

The 21-year-old advanced to the final at the Versatile Sports Palace by battling past compatriot Yousra Helmy in a six-game contest.

Alhodaby secured a 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 18-20, 11-5 win over Helmy to advance to the final against Goda.

Goda had earned a hard-fought 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 victory over defending champion Dina Meshref in the second of the all-Egyptian semi-final contests.

The continental title appeared to be heading 13-year-old Goda’s way, after she bounced back from losing the opening game of the match to establish a 3-1 lead in the final.

Alhodaby reduced the deficit by winning the fifth game, before holding her nerve to win a tight sixth 13-11 to take the match into a decider.

She maintained the momentum to complete a comeback 14-12, 5-11, 7-11, 11-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6 win to seal a maiden continental title.

Egypt was able to celebrate victory in the men’s singles too, as Omar Assar regained the title he claimed back in 2015 and 2016.

Assar faced defending champion Quadri Aruna of Nigeria in the final, with the two players trading the opening games of the contest.

Gradually Assar gained control of the match and secured three consecutive games to triumph 13-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4.

The Egyptian star had earlier beaten Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw 11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in the semi-finals, while Aruna had won 10-12, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4 against Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh in his last-four match.

Egypt finished the ITTF African Championships with six of the seven titles on offer, after winning both men's and women's singles and team events, as well as the women's and mixed doubles.

Nigerian Aruna and Bode Abiodun won the men's doubles yesterday.