Category Archives: Table Tennis

Nigeria’s Quadri and Abiodun Retain Portuguese Cup

Aruna Quadri, Bode Abiodun, Portuguese Cup, Sporting Club,

Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun made it five Portuguese Cup title in a row at the weekend after their team – Sporting beat GDCS Juncal 3-0 to retain the Portuguese Cup.

Also, the women’s team of Sporting Club started their return to the first division on a good note by claiming the Portuguese Cup at the expense of GD Toledos in the finals played at the Municipal Sports Pavilion of Póvoa de Varzim.

In the report monitored on the Portuguese Table Tennis Federation website, Sporting has won the last four editions to increase their titles to 26 in the Portuguese Cup, the men’s team is made up of Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun as well as Portuguese internationals – Joao Monteiro and Diogo Carvalho proved why they remained the best team in Portugal.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Abiodun Retain Portuguese Cup

The 2018 semifinalist in the ETTU Champions League were in fine form against GDCS Juncal with Nigerian superstar – Aruna Quadri championing the onslaught against their opponents.

Playing the first game against Russian Andrei Bukin, Aruna Quadri wasted no time to dismiss the Russian with a 3-0 (11-5, 11-2, 11-6) bashing.

But it was not same story for Diogo Carvalho who had to dig deep to defeat Romanian Mihai Sargu 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-7).

The partnership of Bode Abiodun and Diogo Carvalho completed the rout for Sporting when they overcame the duo of David Bessa and Andrei Bukin 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-9) to lift the trophy for the fifth time in a row.
To berth in the men’s final, Sporting had defeated ADC Ponta do Pargo in the semi-finals (3-1), the CD São Roque in the quarterfinals (3-0) and CTM Lagos in the round of 16 (3-0).

The women’s team of Sporting who made their return to the elite division of the Portuguese league after playing in the lower division last season.

The women’s final involving Sporting and GD Toledos was officiated by the duo of Francisco Rocha and António Pacheco and it was Daniela Dodean Monteiro that started the campaign for Sporting when she defeated Olga Shishmareva 3-2 (11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 6-11).

Nigeria’s Quadri and Abiodun Retain Portuguese Cup

Li Fen increased the lead for Sporting when she beat Anita Luis 3-0 (5-11, 5-11, 5-11).
However, GD Toledos made a statement in the doubles game when the pair of Olga Shishmareva and Olga Chramko overcame Sporting’s Zhenqi and Barthel Apolónia 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-8).

To end the possibility of a comeback, Barthel Apolónia thrashed Toledos’ Anita Luís 3-0 (4-11, 1-11, 5-11)to hand the Sporting ladies the trophy.

The final phase of the competition was attended by 29 teams made up of 16 men and 13 women.

The men’s team of Sporting Clube de Portugal won the last four editions of the trophy and now adds 26 titles, while the women’s team won the trophy for the 13th time, finishing the reign of CTM Mirandela who won the Portuguese Cup in the nine years above. From 1992-1993 the team “leonina” did not win the Cup.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Abiodun Retain Portuguese Cup

The coach of Sporting women’s team Marco Rodrigues said: “It is very good to win again the Portuguese Cup for Sporting Clube de Portugal, after so many years of interruption.”

Sporting Director, Miguel Almeida added: “These two titles are very important, because they were a goal of the section and the club, which enters to win in all the races in which it participates. In the female case it was even more important because it is the first year in which, after we were absent from the 1st division, we returned victoriously. We are working to win the remaining titles until the end of the season.”

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IOC Tags Aruna Quadri Africa’s All Time Table Tennis Best

Two years after becoming the first African to reach the quarterfinal round of the table tennis event at the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has tagged the Nigerian as Africa’s most successful Olympic table tennis player of all time.

The IOC published an interview with the Nigerian on its official website recently and they lauded the Oyo State-born athlete for etching his name in the annals of world table tennis history in Brazil.

The IOC wrote, “Two decades after he took up table tennis on the streets of Oyo, in south-western Nigeria, Quadri Aruna became the first African to reach an Olympic quarterfinal.”

Aruna Quadri

Quadri reveals in the interview how he beat players “far better” than him at Rio 2016, while recalling his early battles to succeed against all odds and stresses the significant debt he owes his talented wife.

“I actually had no confidence against Chuang Chih-Yuan [Chinese Taipei’s four-time world tour champion, whom Aruna faced in the third round] because earlier in January that year I lost in Germany in the first round 4-0 to him. So in Rio I was like, “I have lost before, now I have nothing left to lose, he is a much better player than me.” So, I said to myself, “Just give your best, play and enjoy.” Then I was able to win the first two sets and the match was a different spirit entirely.

“Against Timo Boll [Germany’s three-time Olympic medal winner, whom Aruna played in the fourth round] I was feeling the same way. I was aware the whole world was watching. But before Timo was able to understand my game; I was already 3-0 and it was really too late for him to come back. I stepped up my game and played without pressure because I knew all the players in the Olympic Games are very, very good.

Aruna Quadri

“My performance in Rio really made table tennis much more popular in Nigeria. Whenever I am in the airport now so many officials recognise me now and on the streets, not just where I came from, so many people wave.

“More priority needs to be given to table tennis. Governments need to put people who want to work in sport in the right positions. I am supporting so many players, about six juniors. When I was young no one was able to support me, even with equipment, but these days I am able to help them, to give them equipment and let them play for free.

Aruna Quadri and wife, Ganiyat after winning the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open on Sunday

My wife was a very good player. Now she doesn’t play professionally. She plays for pleasure, but she is a very good training partner and sometimes she beats me. I am very thankful to her, she is always looking after the kids when I am not at home, which is one of the reasons she is not playing professionally anymore,” Quadri said.

For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, Quadri said: “Like every athlete, I want to do better than I have done before. I want better results in Tokyo. I am always thinking about it. That’s why I am playing in more and more tournaments: it’s preparation for difficult matches in Tokyo.”

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Arrives France For 2018 ITTF World Cup

After leading Portugal’s Sporting to their first win of the 2018/2019 European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League, Africa’s sole representative at the 2018 ITTF World Cup, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has arrived Paris, France, in readiness for the three-day tournament which serves off on Friday October 19.

The $250,000 prize money championship will have 20 of the best players in the world competing to share from the prize money and also amass ranking points.

Quadri, who made the final cut based on his world ranking, will start his campaign from the first round where 12 players will be drawn into four groups of three players in each group. The top two players in each group join the already seeded eight players to compete in the knockout round on October 20, while the final holds on October 21.

The 2018 ITTF African Champion was in high spirit for the tournament and he is eager to reenact the feat that saw him becoming the first African to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the championship with his superlative outing at the 2014 edition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Aruna Quadri

A determined Quadri said he is looking forward to a good draw with the aim of advancing to the knockout round.

“I am here to perform like every other player and I am in good shape after the last weekend’s win in the Champions League. Every player competing in the World Cup, are potential champions and I am looking forward to give my best again and hope for the best against the best in the world,” Quadri said.

The draws for the first round of the World Cup holds on Thursday October 18 at the Disney Event Arena in Chessy, a suburb in the east of Paris, France.

African Table Tennis Superstars Renew Rivalry In Europe

Africa’s biggest exports in table tennis – Aruna Quadri (NGR) and Omar Assar (EGY) will be reigniting their standing rivalry as they battle each other in the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League on Thursday September 27 in the city of Dusseldorf, Germany.

Aruna Quadri will be representing his Portuguese club – Sporting while Omar Assar will be making his debut in the competition with Borussia Dusseldorf.

The rivalry between the Nigerian and Egyptian will be outside Africa, as defending champion – Borussia Dusseldorf of Germany and Sporting of Portugal clash in the Group A tie of the prestigious ETTU Champions League.

Aruna Quadri

Aruna Quadri who is the 2018 African Champion will be leading Sporting against Omar Assar’s star-studded Borussia Dusseldorf with both players aiming for each other after Assar missed out from the African Championship in Mauritius recently following the one-year ban from Egypt Table Tennis Federation (ETTF).

Assar joined Borussia Dusseldorf after spending one season with Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and having started the season on the high with the German champion, the Egyptian will be hoping to prove a point against Aruna Quadri when they both go head-to-head in the lucrative European league for their clubs.

ASSAR Omar EGY
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Following his exclusion from the Egyptian team to Mauritius, Assar has been busy with Borussia Dusseldorf which has former European Champion – Timo Boll in its fold. The team is at present topping the Bundesliga table with six points from three matches and they have remained unbeaten this season.

For Aruna and his Sporting teammates, it is indeed another task as the Portuguese league is yet to kick off while the Champions League will serve as their first match this season.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri And Egypt’s Omar Assar

Sporting at their maiden appearance in the Champions League last season made it to the semifinal stage and with the presence of Aruna Quadri and his compatriot – Bode Abiodun with Portuguese internationals – Joao Monteiro and Diogo Carvalho, Sporting will be aiming to advance from Group A which also has French champion – Pontoise Cergy and TTC Ostrava 2016 of Czech Republic.

The two top teams in each group will progress to the quarterfinal stage of the competition, while the third placed teams in each group drop to the ETTU Cup.

Nigeria’s Oshonaike Not Giving Up On Seventh Olympics Appearance

At 43, Olufunke Oshonaike is not giving up on her plan of setting a new continental record as the first African female athlete to attend seven Olympic Games.

Since making her debut at the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996 in United States, Oshonaike has represented Nigeria at six Olympic Games and she is poised on making it to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

The former African champion was beaten in the round of 16 of the women’s singles at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius but she has insisted that she cannot be forced to quit the sport that she has been romancing for more than three decades.

The Germany-based star said that she would continue to feature for Nigeria with the intention of making it to her seventh Olympic Games in 2020 Tokyo, Japan.

“I am looking forward to the 2019 African Games with the sole aim of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. If I qualify I will be on top of the world because that will be the last time I will play table tennis and after the Olympic Games I will throw in the towel,” she said.

Funke Oshonaike

She added: “I feel very sad because I lost in the singles but I am still good to play for few years. I look younger than my age and i’m not bothered about what people say because age is nothing but a number. It will be my decision to retire but I hope I qualify for the Olympic Games in order to enter the ‘Seventh Club’. After then I can quit.”

Still ruing the women’s team final loss to Egypt, Oshonaike said the team gave their best against the youthful Egyptians, adding that she hopes that younger players come through to the team in near future. “I think we need new players in this team. The Egyptians are familiar with some of us particularly our style of play. So we need to change something in this team with the introduction of new players and this will surely help us whenever we need them again in any competition,” she said.

Nigeria’s Oladapo Elected as ATTF Deputy President

Nigeria’s Olabanji Oladapo has been elevated as the Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) by the Council Board of the continental body.

Oladapo, who was until his election the Vice President, Administration will replace Congo Brazzaville’s Minister, Henri Djombo, who resigned his position as Deputy President.

In a statement signed by the President of ATTF, Khaled El-Salhy, Olabanji’s contribution to the sport coupled with his administrative acumen prompted the CB during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation during the 2018 ITTF African Championships at the weekend in Mauritius to elect him to the post.

The former Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) is also a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board of Directors (ITTF BOD) and a member of the IOC Commission.

Also, Alfred Bagueka Assobo (CMR) was elected as the Executive Vice President, Administration, while Jean Marie Okouna (CGO) as the Regional Vice President of Central African region.

Due to the diversities of the continent coupled with the vast landmark, the CB of ATTF has expressed its willingness to empower its five regions.

Olabanji Oladapo

According to ATTF boss, the AGM commended the Mauritius Table Tennis Federation (MTTA) for the successful staging of the tournament while they also confirmed in principle the ITTF Strategic Plan.

“They have also approved to give the authority to the ATTF Strategic Plan Working Group to go on with ITTF towards the start of operation in Africa according to the real needs for our continent with full concentration to the following, which is to empower the five African regions for more developmental activities and administration; validate professional staff in ATTF and give higher attention to the players in terms of new training centres, higher prize money and organising super challenge events with other continents” El-Salhy said.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Egypt’s Meshref Emerge as Singles Champions at 2018 ITTF African Championships

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref emerged as singles champions at the 2018 ITTF African Championships concluded in Mauritius on Sunday September 9, 2018.

Quadri did not drop a point from the first round (round of 64) until the final when he defeated Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-1 to win his first African Championships title which he narrowly lost to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2016.

Also, Meshref, who lost the title to Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike in 2016, reclaimed her title after a convincing 4-0 win over compatriot – Reem El-Eraky in the women’s singles final.

An elated Aruna said he is still eager to win the African Games which he is yet to have in his kitty. “I think I have won virtually all the titles in Africa, the only one I am still hungry to win is the African Games title which I believe I will continue to work hard in order to win it next year in Morocco. I am happy that I am winning this African Championships title for the first time particularly less than one month after I won the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos. I am grateful to the Mauritian fans for their support during all my matches,” he said.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Egypt’s Meshref Emerge as Singles Champions at 2018 ITTF African Championships

Despite reclaiming her title, Meshref admitted that it was a bit hard to win back the laurel particularly with strong opposition from Nigeria’s Edem Offiong in the semifinal. “I am happy winning my title back but it was not an easy task particularly with the match against Edem Offiong. But in all I am happy as I look forward to the ITTF World Cup which is my next tournament this year,” she said.