Nigeria’s brightest table tennis star and African number one player, Aruna Quadri, was yesterday handed another opportunity to showcase his talent on the global stage following a late minute entry to play at the ITTF Men’s Cup in Chengdu, China this weekend.
The opportunity came following the withdrawal of Wong Chun after an ankle injury he sustained last week at another major tournament and thus ruled him out of the world event that will hold from Friday 29th November to Sunday 1st December 2019.
The international tennis body picked the experienced Nigerian who will now line up to play other top players in the world.
The ITTF.com recalled that when Wong Chun faced China’s Xu Xin at the T2 Diamond Singapore event last week, the player suffered an injury at the end of the second game.
Despite the best efforts by his team and coach, the 28-year-old was unable to continue. Ranked number16 in the world, he will miss out in the tournament for the first time in three years.
The withdrawal has profited Nigeria’s Quadri and will compete in the group stage of the competition. The 31-year-old is a regular face at top international events and is no stranger to pushing the table tennis elite to the limit.
The change of baton thus meant that Quadri will be making his fifth appearance at a Men’s World Cup and the last two editions in Disneyland Paris (2018) and Liège (2017) are his recent but his best performance however came at the 2014 edition in Düsseldorf, where he reached the quarter-finals stage.
This year as a whole has been somewhat topsy turvy for Aruna. Starting with a round of 32 finish at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, he reached the semi-finals at the ITTF World Tour Bulgarian Open in Panagyurishte. Following that, his win in Lagos at the ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open was followed by a surprising round of 16 exit at the ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open.