Aruna Quadri Qualifies for ITTF World Cup


*Oshodi hails the champion for his consistency

Duro Ikhazuagbe
Aruna Quadri defeated Omar Assar of Egypt 4-3 at the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup to book a place in the ITTF World Cup in France on Monday.

Although the victory was not the first time the Nigerian star had the better of the top African player, Aruna achieved that feat in Morocco without a coach to guide his game.
Before the clash with Assar in the men’s singles final, Aruna defeated another Egyptian Mohamed El-Beiali 4-0 in the semi final.

The 2014 ITTF Star Player showed his maturity and experience throughout the encounter even when Assar was leading, he never gave up but continued to fight.

Table tennis fans that witnessed the clash described the final as a good showcase of Africa as both players played their hearts out.
Speaking after the final, an obviously elated Aruna said he believes luck was in his favour as his opponent also played well.

“I am so happy and I think luck was in my favour and I look forward to play in the ITTF World Cup later this year in France,” Quadri said.
In the women’s singles final, Olufunke Oshonaike surrendered to Egypt’s Dina Meshref as the Nigerian champion lost 4-0.
Quadri and Meshref will represent Africa at this ITTF World Cups later in the year.

Speaking on Aruna’s victory over Assar in Morocco, immediate past President of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, (NTTF), Wahid Enitan Oshodi, told THISDAY that it was a good one for the Nigerian champion, most especially as it was achieved in a north African city.

“That was a good one for Aruna Quadri, coming especially against an experienced player like Egypt’s Assar. Aruna had no coach to support him in that final. I know the training regime Aruna has been going through and his determination to continue to be the pride of Nigeria in table tennis,” observed Oshodi.

The former Lagos State Sports Commissioner believes that the qualification of Aruna for the ITTF World Cup couldn’t have come at a better time when Nigeria ought to be preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in Australia.

“As a bronze medalist at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, it is the wish of Aruna to move a step higher at the next Games in Australia. This qualification for the World Cup is one step ahead to prepare him for the gold medal,” stressed Oshodi who is vice president of the African table tennis body.

However, the only fears in sports circle now is if paucity of funds is not likely to stop Nigerian Athletes from participating at the Games in Australia next year. The appropriation made for the sports sector in the 2017 budget is barely N7billion out of which NFF’s proposed budget for the 2018 World Cup qualification and participation is in the region of N6billion.