By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri last night became the first African table tennis player to ever qualify for the quarter final of the men’s singles event of the Olympic Games with a 4-2 defeat of Germany’s Timo Boll.
Quadri is to take on world champion and number one seed of Rio2016, Ma Long of China in the quarter final at 8pm tonight.
In a thrilling Fourth Round match up against the influential German, the 2014 ITTF Star Player left no one in doubt of his readiness to progress into the next round when he took the first three sets 12-10, 12-10 and 11-5 to lead 3-0.
But Boll fought back to pick the fourth and fifth sets 11-3 and 11-5 to put major scores at 3-2.
However Quadri dug deep into his bag of tricks to pick the sixth set 11-9 to end the fought round clash 4-2 and book his ticket into the quarter final.
Before Monday’s win, Quadri had tied with legendary Segun Toriola as the first Nigerian nay African to make it into the fourth round of the Olympic men’s singles. Toriola achieved that feat at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China
After an awesome display on Sunday in which Quadri caused a major upset in Round 3; beating Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan 4-0, it was generally believed that he had reached his end as the fourth round was not meant for boys but men.