You are here: HomeSports2022 09 09Article 586526

Sports News of Friday, 9 September 2022

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

Table Tennis: Aruna reclaims African title after four years

Aruna Quadri Aruna Quadri

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has reclaimed the African men’s table tennis crown after playing second fiddle to his arch-rival Egyptian Omar Assar for a couple of years.

Since 2018, Aruna has watched Assar dominate the scene, but in the finals of the continental tournament on Friday in Algiers, the Nigerian broke through to emerge as the new African Men’s Champion.

Both players were not really tested at the ITTF African Senior Championships until the final, where they both played their best match in the tournament.

Aruna displayed guts despite being two sets down in Friday’s thrilling final

It was already looking like Aruna would succumb to Assar for the umpteenth time before he mustered a brave fight back

After taking the first two sets, Assar was already leading 3-1 in the third set. But the Nigerian’s tenacity and prowess came to the fore as he fought back to level at 3-3 and was leading in the final game for the tie to go into 12-12.

Good shots from the Nigerian were all he needed to conquer the Egyptian and claim his first continental title since 2018. Aruna won 4-3 (8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 14-12)

An elated Aruna described the tie as energy-sapping while he lauded his opponent for a magnificent display.

“I think I gave my all and even when I was down, I did not give up. I think I just stayed focused and this worked out for me and I am happy that my efforts in Algiers paid off for me,” he said.

This win will surely shore up Aruna’s ranking in the world while Taiwo Mati, the young Nigerian who made it to the semi-final, should also see an immense improvement in his global ranking.