Aruna Quadri is Africa’s sole representative in the men’s singles at the ITTF World Cup.
Nigeria’s top ranked table tennis star, Aruna Quadri has attributed the weekend’s victory at the World Tour in Poland to his failure at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge in Lagos, where he was defeated in the round of 16 by his compatriot, Bode Abiodun.
Quadri on Sunday won his first ITTF Challenge in Poland where he beat Japan’s Kaii Yoshida 11-7, 11-13 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12 (4-2) to become the first African to win title outside the continent.Speaking from Poland yesterday, an elated Quadri said the weekend was a good one for Nigeria, following the qualification of Nigeria for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“I am very happy for what I have just achieved. It is one of the best moments of my career. I have never won a World Tour before, even in my own country where I played three times.
“The last time I tried, which was in Lagos, it was worse because I lost in the Round of 16. The loss was a big shock to all my fans around the world but it was a wake up call, and I got motivated. It was a challenge I needed to do more, then I decided to train harder and it was not really easy because most of the players I played with were very good,” adding that “What I was looking for finally came me,” he said.
The quarterfinalist at the Rio Olympic Games said the results he got at the Bulgaria Open gave him the impetus to go for the title in Poland Open, where he was seeded as one of the top players.
“The result in Bulgaria really motivated me for the World Tour in Poland and I gave all my best that resulted in my winning the title and I give thanks to God for it,” he stated.
Quadri, who won the sole ticket to represent Africa in the men’s event at the ITTF World Cup holding between October 20 and 22 in Liege, Belgium, said the various competitions he has participating will give him enough exposure to represent the continent well later this month.