After securing a late minute entrant at the prestigious Men’s World Cup tournament, Nigeria’s brightest table tennis star and African number one player, Aruna Quadri, is set to showcase his talent from today when the biggest tennis event gets underway in Chengdu, China.
Aruna, who replaced injured Wong Chun, will play in group C alongside representatives from Europe and Oceania with Swedish star, Karlsson Kristian and Hu Heming from Australia both lined up to battle the African representative.
When the matches get underway from this morning, according to ITTF bulletin, pundits are already tipping the Nigerian star to better his quarter final finish achieved five years ago in Düsseldorf, Germany but he must first see off the obstacles from Hu and Karlsson who by no standard a pushover in the game.
“It will come down to battle of wits between these three players no matter if Aruna has the term favorite on his back,” ITTF bulletin reported yesterday.
In the other groups, the trio of Simon Gauzy, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Jonathan Groth have given alliteration fans a whole table tennis Men’s World Cup group to cheer about in group D.
The French, Indian and Danish stars have never faced each other in the group stages in recent times, which makes this roster an unpredictable one. Gnanasekaran comes in on the back of having beaten Tomokazu Harimoto in straight games at the ITTF-ATTU Lion Asian Cup in the summer, while the Europeans Gauzy and Groth both have latter stage experience at this tournament to work in their favour.
In the group B, Kanak Jha is the young man that has everyone talking in the United States. The Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist is ready to impress at the Men’s World Cup. Jha has been placed in a group comprising of Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Egyptian Omar Assar.
Lee and Jha were in the same group in the 2017 edition; this has all the makings of a personal “round two” between the two players. Funnily enough, it was Assar’s continental compatriot Quadri Aruna with Lee and Jha in 2017, which ended up with the Korea Republican topping the group and Jha eliminated after losing both his matches in seven game thrillers. Will the young American exact revenge this year?
While in group A, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Belarussian Vladimir Samsonov are set to make their 12th and 17th appearances respectively at the Men’s World Cup; these two giants of the game will now hit it off against each other in group A. Joining them is 33 year old Austrian Daniel Habesohn.
Only eight out of the 12 athletes involved in group stage action will make the main draw and there are some tasty battles already lined up in the group stages and the event will end on Sunday 1st of December, 2019.