ITTF World Championships: Quadri Aruna Sets African Record
Nigerian table tennis star Quadri Aruna has safely made his passage into the 4th round of the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis championships after a 4-3 victory against India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in the men’s singles, setting the record as the first African to reach the last 16 of the World Table tennis championships.
Being the highest rated African in the draws, Aruna showed the grit he is made of by overcoming Sathiyan in the deciding set to record a 11-9,7-11,13-15,11-3,4-11,11-,11-7 victory, a win that shattered India’s last hope in the singles.
This will be Quadri’s first time in the round of 16 at the championships, having reached the last 32 at the 2019 edition of the competition held in Hungary.
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After 3 days of explosive action in Houston, Nigeria’s Quadri remains the only African remaining in the draws following some notable loses for Egypt and Nigeria in the doubles on Thursday.
The duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref bid farewell to their mixed doubles campaign, having led by 2 games over Achanta Sharath and Archana Kamath of India, the Egyptians let it slip to settle for a heartbreaking 3-2 (9-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4) loss.
Another Egyptian duo of Ahmed Saleh and Khalid Assar could not find the right rhythm to wrap up a win in the deciding game against their Spanish counterparts.
Same fate befell Nigeria’s Offiong Edem and Cecilia Akpan, Egypt’s Yousra Helmy and Abdel-Aziz Farah in the women’s doubles.