Rio Olympics: Aruna Quadri Sets New Africa Record in Table Tennis

Aruna Quadri, Nigeria table tennis star, on Monday night became the first African ever to make it to the quarter finals of the men’s single table tennis event at the Olympics.
The 28-year-old defeated the world number 13 in 16 minutes as he won his third game in Rio, to send Brazilian fans, who kept chanting ‘Nigeria’, into rapturous celebrations.
Quadri, in a thrilling encounter, beat his German opponent, Boll Timo, 4-2 to seal a historic berth in the quarter finals of men’s single table tennis event.
However, German star halted Quadri’s run as he took the 4th set and 5th set 11-3, 11-5.
In the keenly contested 6th set, Quadri held his nerve to win 11-9 and thus entered into the history books as the first African table tennis player to go this far.
Quadri, who is attending his second Olympics, defeated Boll 12-10 in the first set before taking the second and third sets 12-10, 11-5.
Boll regrouped and won the next two sets 11-3, 11-5 but the Nigerian, who is currently ranked 40, took the sixth set 11-9.
The 2014 ITTF Star Player of the Year had earlier in the third round defeated world number seven, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Chun-Yuan, to book a place against Boll.
Before Monday’s win, Quadri was only at par with legend, Segun Toriola, who at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China, made it to the fourth round of the championship.
After an awesome display on Sunday in which Quadri caused a major upset in Round 3, beating Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan 4-0 , many knew it would be suicidal to bet against the Nigerian who seemed to have hit his peak at the right time at the Olympics.
The last man standing for Nigeria in the table tennis event will battle Ma Long of China on Tuesday at at 9.30pm.
Team captain Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem and Segun Toriola were earlier sent packing as they crashed out from the tournament.

Author: News Editor

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