With few days to the 2017 ITTF World Cup in Liege, Belgium, Aruna Quadri yesterday defied all odds to emerge as menâ€™s singles champion at the ITTF Challenge tagged Polish Open.
The Nigerian who has been listed among the top 20 players in the world that will compete at the prestigious ITTF World Cup between October 20 and October 22, defeated giant killing Japanâ€™s Kaii Yoshida 11-7, 11-13 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12 (4-2) to become the first African to win ITTF title outside the continent.
The final match against the Japanese lived up to expectation as both players tested each other strength-for-strength and skills-for-skills but it was the Nigerian that laughed last.
As the number seed of the tournament, Quadri ensured that his maintain his status with a resouding victory to the chagrin of the Polish fans who queued behind the Japanese throughout the encounter.
Also Quadriâ€™s opponent enjoyed support from the home fans as he plies his trade in the Polish league. But this did not deter Quadri from raising his game to cage the Japanese ad smile home with the trophy.
Prior to beating the Japanese in the final, Quadri had defeated Kazakhstanâ€™s Kirill Gerassimenko (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6) earlier in the semifinal stage of the competition.
In the womenâ€™s singles event, it was Japanese affair as ITTF World Cup defending champion, Mima Ito defeated her compatriot Saki Shibata 4-1 to emerge as winner.