Home Sports My Plan Is To End African Games jinx in Ghana – Quadri

My Plan Is To End African Games jinx in Ghana – Quadri

Quadri Aruna
Quadri Aruna

Nigeria’s highest-ranked table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, hopes to add the African Games men’s singles title to his medal collection.

The 32-year-old drew bye in the first round of the men’s singles event, defeating Mbati Kombissingue from Central African Republic in three straight sets to advance to the round of 32 billed for Friday.

He believes he stands a great chance to achieving his dream at the championship after advancing to the quarter-finals on Monday.

Quadri also beat Andre Quibuco  and Stephanie Quachie 3-0 and 3-1 in the round of 32 and round of 16 respectively on Monday.

The only African medal missing in Quadri’s collection is the men’s singles title at the African Games.

“Winning the men’s singles title is what I hope to achieve here,” Quadri said.

“In the past, I lost in the finals of men’s singles twice in consecutive editions but this time around, I believe I will be lucky to win it in Ghana.”

Quadri, regarded as the most successful African table tennis player in recent times, is making his fourth appearance at the Games in Accra since making his debut at the 2011 edition in Maputo, Mozambique where he reached the semi-finals and eventually finishing fourth.

At the 2015 edition in Brazzaville, Congo, Quadri reached his first ever final in the men’s singles event but lost the pulsating final 4-3 to Egypt’s Omar Assar.

He replicated his class again at the 2019 edition in Rabat, Morocco when he stopped Assar from reclaiming the title in the semi-finals, only to lose the title to compatriot Olajide Omotayo in the final.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s table tennis coach, Segun Toriola, is counting on Quadri to maintain the country’s dominance in table tennis at the African Games.

“I spoke with him and he is aiming for his first African Games gold medal. He is ready to compete for the title and I’m happy with his performance.”

At the last edition of the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, Nigeria were ranked second after winning 10 medals (two gold, four silver and four bronze) and have finished among the top three in the last four editions of the competitions.

In the history of table tennis at the African Games, Team Nigeria have won eight men’s singles title.

Kasali Lasisi won gold at the second edition of the Games hosted by Nigeria in 1973, while Atanda Musa won successive titles in 1987 and 1991.

Current coach, Toriola, won four consecutive men’s singles titles (1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) while Olajide Omotayo is the reigning champion, having won it in  2019.

Credit: punchng.com

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