Tag Archives: Aruna Quadri

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.”

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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 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.

Quadri, Meshref Are Top Seeds As Singles Serve Off Today

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref have been seeded as top seeds as the singles event of the 2018 ITTF African Championships serves off on Friday September 7, 2018 in Mauritius.

Action will return to the Beau Bassin Sports Complex after a one-day rest following the conclusion of the team event on Wednesday September the 5th 2018 with Nigeria and Egypt picking the slots for Africa to the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan.

In the absence of the defending champion – Egypt’s Omar Assar, Aruna Quadri was named the number one seed and he will start his campaign from the second round (round of 32) after getting a bye from the first round.

Also as the second seed in the men’s singles, Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh also got a bye to the second round and the third seed is Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali who got a bye to the second round as well.

Aside Meshref who got a bye to the second round, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike seeded number two also had a bye to the second round.

Aruna Quadri and Dina Meshref

Also the men and women doubles event will precede the kick-off of the singles event while the semifinal of the mixed doubles will hold as well on same day.

It promises to be a busy day for all the teams as they battle for the top spots in the remaining five events (doubles (men and women), singles (men and women) and mixed doubles continues at the championships.

Apart from playing for pride, the players will be aiming to share from the $25,000 prize money set aside for the last four players in the remaining five events.

Nigeria, Egypt Berth At 2019 Table Tennis World Team Cup

Nigeria and Egypt will fly Africa’s flag at the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan after emerging champions at the 2018 ITTF African Championships holding in Mauritius.

It was Egypt who first confirmed their spot in the global tournament after beating Nigeria’s women team 3-1 in the final but few hours later the Nigerian team led by 2018 ITTF Nigeria Open Champion, Aruna Quadri dethroned Egypt as the new continental winners for men.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

In the last three editions of the World Team Cup, Egypt men and women teams have featured in the tournament and the last time Nigeria’s men team competed was in 2010 in Dubai.

But with the 3-1 win over Egypt in the final, the West African side will return to the global championship come November 2019 in Japan. The tournament is a test run for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The trio of Dina Meshref, Farah Abdel-Aziz and Yousra Helmy defeated Nigeria’s trio of Edem Offiong, Olufunke Oshonaike and Janet Effiom to retain their title on the continent.

In the men’s final, it was a different scenario as the experience of Segun Toriola counted for the West African team when the seven-time Olympian fought from 1-2 down to beat youthful Khaled Assar 3-2 in the third game to give Nigeria a 2-1 lead after Aruna Quadri had put Nigeria ahead with a 3-2 win over Ahmed Saleh while Bode Abiodun fell 0-3 to Mohammed El-Beiali.

Like a true champion, it was Aruna Quadri who saved the day for Nigeria with an explosive encounter against Mohammed El-Beiali who left the spectators glued to their seat during the tie.

Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola

Having falling behind 1-2, Aruna Quadri fought back to beat the Arab Cup Champion 3-2 to throw the venue into a frenzy.

A disappointed Ahmed Saleh said: that it was a painful loss especially the loss by Assar to Toriola. “I am so disappointed that we could not retain our title because we had thought we could pick the third game against Toriola. I am not too happy but that is table tennis and we will come back to fight again,” Saleh said.

Aruna Quadri Lifts Less Privileged in Lagos

Away from his regular training ahead of the 2018 ITTF African Championships, Aruna Quadri on Tuesday August 28, 2018 put smiles on the faces of students of SOS Children’s Village International in Isolo, a suburb in Lagos, Nigeria.

Accompanied by his wife – Ganiat Aruna, the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open champion said he decided to show his compassion for the less privileged as he had to go through thick and thin to become what he is today.

Gboyega Fadowole-Aje (left), Ganiat Aruna; Quadri Aruna and Lawrence Agbaegbu during the visit in Lagos on Tuesday Aug 28, 2018

Aruna Quadri and his spouse were received at the SOS Children’s Village by the National Fund Development and Communication Coordinator, Gboyega Fadowole-Aje who described Aruna’s gesture as commendable while hoping that other sports stars in Nigeria would take a cue from the athlete.

“We want to first of all congratulate you on your victory at the just concluded Nigeria Open and wish you well in your endeavours. We were indeed touched by this your singular gesture and we believe your presence in the Village would surely inspire the children to aim high like you in their endeavours. On behalf of the Country Director, we are grateful and we wish well in your endeavours,” Gboyega Fadowole-Aje said.

For Aruna Quadri, the gesture has been part of his plans to support the disadvantaged people in the society. “This is another way to show love to those who are not privilege and I believe this small gesture will augment what others have been doing for them. I am doing this to also give back to the society where I emerged from and this will not be a one-off thing as I hope to make it a regular in my plans whenever I am home in Nigeria,” the world number 18 said.

Aruna Quadri

Also, the National Store Coordinator of SOS Children’s Villages, Lawrence Agbaegbu believes the efforts of the table tennis star is a welcome development while urging other well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to support the centre which is an international home for the less privilege.

Aside the mini table donated by Aruna Quadri, food items valued at thousands of dollars was given to the home.

Aruna Quadri also took time out to play table tennis with some of the children in the centre.