Quadri Stuns Japanese Star To Reach Bulgaria Open Semi-Final

Aruna Quadri

 

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has stunned one of the most decorated Japanese stars in table tennis to reach the semi-final round of the ITTF World Tour tagged Bulgaria Open.

Being the last quarterfinal match in the men’s singles, the Bulgaria fans were treated to an exciting contest in Panagyurishte after the Nigerian hero knocks Japanese number 4 seed Jun Mizutani in a seven-game thriller.

Trailing 1-2 on games but Quadri is well known for his comebacks and his fighting spirit prevailed on this occasion, saving two game points in game four before going on to recover from 4-9 down to win game five 11-9.

Mizutani responded well to claim game six, forcing a decider. 9-6 down, Mizutani refused to give up the fight, going on to hold two match point opportunities.

However, Aruna Quadri showed nerves of steel, saving both points before going on to steal the win (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

Portuguese qualifier, Marcos Freitas is also through to the last four of the championship after a fantastic victory over no.15 seed Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.

At the start of play, it was the Chinese Taipei player who looked good for the win, claiming the opening game by an eight-point margin but Freitas also enjoyed his spells of dominance over the course of the match.

Ultimately it was game seven that produced the main story: 6-7 down Freitas opted to call a timeout, a decision that proved useful as the Portuguese star fought back to win the decider 11-9 and earn his spot in the penultimate round (3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Japanese teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto also booked his place in the semi-finals of the men’s singles draw following a tight affair with fellow Japanese compatriot Takuya Jin.

Down 3-0 on the scoreboard, Jin needed to form a response and one did arrive with the qualifier pulling a game back. Then in game five Jin held game point advantage on two occasions but failed to convert as top seed Harimoto held his nerve, sealing the win by a 4-1 margin (11-7, 11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 13-11).

German Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s men’s singles run has concluded in the quarter-finals stage in Panagyurishte after the second seed lost out to world no.110 China’s Zhao Zihao in an exciting battle.

The 22-year-old pen-hold grip player from China started strongly and deservedly gained a healthy 2-0 lead.

Up against the ropes, Ovtcharov raised his performance, winning two of the next three games to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In game six, the two players gave it their all but there could only be one winner and that proved to be Zhao Zihao (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

In the semifinal tie scheduled for Sunday August 18, Aruna Quadri will face China’s Zhao Zihao, while Portugal’s Marcos Freitas will take on Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto.

Back-To-Back Champion: Quadri Wins Nigeria Table Tennis Open Title

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri defeated Austria’s Gardos Robert to clinch a back-to-back Nigeria Open Table Tennis Championship at the 2019 edition on Sunday, August 11, 2019.

 

Top seed of the men’s singles, Aruna Quadri has emerged winner of the 2019 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Plus Nigeria Open.

To become the champion, Quadri defeated Austria’s Robert Gardos (15-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1) in the final while Russia’s Polina Mikhailova won the women’s singles title.

In the semi-final clash, Quadri ended the adventures of qualifier, India’s Soumyajit Ghosh (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4); while Gardos had to dig deep to beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, the no.2 seed (11-3, 7-11, 8-11, 15-13, 13-11, 11-9).

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Unlike Quadri, Polina Mikhailova finished the night as the most successful player of the competition as earlier in the day she had partnered colleague Yana Noskova to women’s doubles gold.

To win the women’s Singles,  Mikhailova, the no.2 seed, recovered from a three games to nil deficit to beat Russian colleague, Yana Noskova, the no.4 seed, in the final (6-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 15-13, 15-13).

In the semi-final stage, Polina Mikhailova overcame Indian qualifier, Sreeja Akula (11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), Yana Noskova accounted for Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli, the no.7 seed (12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9). It was for Polina Mikhailova her second career win at an ITTF Challenge tournament in six women’s singles finals; the one prior success was in 2012 in Belarus.

Quadri’s 2019 win had increased his Challenge series title to three having won the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Open as well as the 2017 Polish Open.

But it was a disappointment for Nigeria’s duo of Olajide Omotayo and Segun Toriola as they had to settle for silver in the men’s doubles event.

AFP

15 Countries To Compete For 2019 ITTF Africa Cup In Lagos

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri in Budapest

 

In less than one week, the best players from 15 African countries will converge in Lagos for the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, which serves off on August 3 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref are defending champions of the tournament and they are expected to battle against other players for their places in the 2019 ITTF World Cups.

Countries expected in Lagos for the three-day championship include Algeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia.

Also, since establishing himself as Algeria’s best male player, Sami Kherouf has been making frantic efforts to halt the dominance of Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar (EGY) in Africa. But all his efforts have not materialised.

Again, the Algerian star will be heading to Lagos, in his bid to fulfill his dream of becoming the first Algerian to conquer the continent.

As a realist, Sami Kherouf admitted that it will take an extra-ordinary performance to rule the continent.

“At present, we are training together as team in Algiers with the aim of using the Africa Cup in Lagos as a good preparation for the All African Games,” he said.

On the possibility of dethroning the defending champion – Aruna Quadri, he said: “To win the title is super hard with the presence of the best African players like Omar Assar and Aruna Quadri as well as other good players too.

“I must admit that to win the title will require a lot of work and at the moment it seems hard to win. It is hard because you have to compete with top players, who ply their trade in big leagues and who devote most of their time to the game as their main job,” he added.

Sami Kherouf cannot wait to come to Nigeria.

“I cannot wait to come to Nigeria because I have never visited the country before. I know it is country that loves sport and especially table tennis,” the Algerian number one star said.

In his modest ambition, Sami Kherouf said: “I am aiming to win a bronze medal and I would have loved to become the first Algerian to qualify for the World Cup but it is very hard for everyone except Omar Assar and Aruna Quadri.”

Quadri, Abiodun Inspire Club To Win Fourth Portuguese Cup 

 

 Despite the absence of their captain, Joao Monteiro, Nigerian table tennis stars, Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun were at their best to ensure Sporting win their fourth title in a row after retaining the Portuguese Super Cup at the expense of ADC Ponta do Pargo.

Having lost their opener in the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League away to Borussia Dusseldorf, Sporting’s trio of Aruna Quadri, Diogo Carvalho and Bode Abiodun checkmated ADC Ponta do Pargo to retain the Portuguese Super Cup for the fourth time in a row.

Sporting were on the losing side away to Borussia Dusseldorf in the ETTU Champions opener but the Portuguese sidelined up Quadri, Diogo Carvalho and Abiodun against ADC Ponta do Pargo in the encounter held at the Municipal Pavilion of Nespereira, in Cinfães.

It was a re-energised Quadri who started the onslaught for Sporting with a 3-1 (7-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-9) bashing of Énio Mendes, Carvalho increased the lead for Sporting with a convincing 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3) win over Sahed Idowu. Abiodun completed the rout for Sporting with a 3-0 (14-12, 11-5, 11-5) victory over Vítor Amorim.

Being the fourth year in a row that Quadri and Abiodun will be lifting the trophy with Sporting and the Lisbon-based team continues to erase their own record having won the title for 13th time more than any team in Portugal.

For Quadri, the win serves as a good preparation for this week’s ETTU Champions League tie at home to Czech Republic’s TTC Ostrava.

“We are indeed looking forward to the Champions League match on October 11 at home and we hope that this win will give us the needed motivation to do well against the visiting Czech side.

“Despite losing the first match away to the defending champion, we are still hopeful that we can make it from the group but I must also admit that we missed the presence of our captain, Joao Monteiro who is yet to recover from the injury he had before the start of the European Championships in Alicante, Spain. I am confident that we can do well against the visitors when we clash this week in Lisbon,” Quadri said.

Sitting at the bottom of Group A of the Champions League, which has defending champion – Germany’s Borussia Dusseldorf and former champion, France’s AS Pontoise Cergy, Sporting hopes to rediscover their form which saw them making it to the semifinal in their maiden outing in the lucrative league.

Aruna Quadri Thanks Fans After Nigeria Open Victory

Aruna Quadri Thanks Fans After Nigeria Open Victory
Nigerian table tennis star and winner of the Men’s Singles of 2018 ITTF Nigeria Open, Quadri Aruna. with the runner-up, Hachard Antoine from France (right), during the closing ceremony of the tournament at the Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on August 12, 2018.

 

Nigerian table tennis star Aruna Quadri has thanked the fans who supported him to win the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Nigeria Open 2018.

The world’s no 18 won the tournament on Sunday after defeating his opponent from France, Harchard Antoine, at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere area of Lagos.

“If not for my fans that supported me all the way, this victory would not have been possible and so, I want to thank the people for standing by me,” he said.

Quadri, who is the first Nigerian to win the ITTF, claimed a $5,000 prize and another $200 courtesy of the fair play award which was awarded to him.

Similarly, the best Nigerian home-grown player of the tournament, Jamiu Anyawale, was rewarded with a cash gift of $200.

Antonie, who is from France, was rewarded with $2,500 for emerging as the first runner-up of the men’s singles, while Guo Yan from China went home with $5,000 for winning the women’s singles.

Yan’s fellow compatriot, Sun Chen, was also awarded $2,500 for emerging as the first runner-up of the women’s singles.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has congratulated Quadri on his emergence as the first Nigerian to win the competition.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, Governor Ambode assured table tennis fans that the state government would support the tournament in a bigger edition in 2019.

He said, “This is a major improvement from last year’s competition and again for the very first time in the last six years, we found a Nigerian winning the men’s singles and this brings a lot of excitement for me because I have been supporting table tennis and I know that next year’s tournament will be more exciting than this.”

“As a government, we are going to put more support; we put more financial support so that we can attract more people and also encourage more Nigerians to participate.

“You know we actually gave bonus to Nigerians that have qualified and that is also to encourage more of our own local players to compete internationally,” the governor added.

Aruna Quadri Wins 2018 Nigeria Open

Aruna Quadri

 

With an overwhelming support by the home fans, Aruna Quadri defeated Frenchman Antoine Hachard 4-2 to win the elusive title.

Hachard won the first game 13-11, the Nigerian responded with an 11-3 victory in the second, Hachard won the third, Quadri won the fourth and never looked back till the job was completed.

The World No. 18 becomes the first Nigeria to win at the championship and will definitely improve when the next ranking is released.

Meanwhile, China’s Guo Yan has beaten her compatriot, Sun Chen 4-3 to win the women’s singles title at this year’s Nigeria open.

It was a thrilling encounter that used the entire seven games to produce a winner.

Chen won the first game 11-7, Yan bounced back to win the second and third, it was tied in the fourth and fifth until Yan wrapped things up with a superb display in the sixth and seventh.

Earlier, Sun Chen paired with Qi Fenjie to produce a 3-0 win over the duo of Fan Siqi and Guo Yan to win the doubles title.

In the men’s doubles final, Robinot Alexandre and Seyfried Joe defeated Lakatos Tamas and Olah Benedek to keep the title.

Aruna Quadri Emerges Africa’s Best, Ranks 21 Globally

Nigerian table tennis player, Aruna Quadri has set new record as he is ranked best African ITTF Player.  

The 29-year-old ranked 21 in the latest ITTF ranking released on Thursday by the world table tennis ruling body.

Quadri surpassed his best of 25th in the ranking to displace Egypt’s Omar Assar as Africa’s best ranked player in the world.

Following her victories over top ranked players at the Swedish Open, Quadri amassed 50 points to improve from 2,457 to 2,507 points.

Aruna Quadri Rises To 27 In ITTF ranking

Aruna-Quadri

Aruna Quadri has moved from 36 to 27 in the November ITTF ranking released on Wednesday by the world table tennis ruling body.

As the first African to win an ITTF title outside the continent after claiming the men’s singles at the Polish Open, Aruna Quadri gained more points from his Poland victory as well as claimed some points from his qualification to the main draw at the ITTF World Cup in Liege, Belgium.

With 2,434 points in October to be ranked 36, the 2017 Polish Open Champion who is supported by Premier Lotto gained 23 points from his performance in October to be rated 27 in November with 2457 points.

Despite drop in his ranking points from 2,528 to 2,513, Egypt’s Omar Assarl holds on to the zenith in Africa as the Egyptian moved a step up from 21 to 20.

China’s Ma Long remains the number one player in the world despite losing to Germany’s Timo Boll in the semifinal of the ITTF World Cup while winner of the 2017 ITTF World Cup, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov achieved the biggest ranking in his career after moving a step up to third spot in the latest ranking.

World Cup runner’s up, Germany’s Timo Boll moved to fourth place in the ranking while France’s Simon Gauzy continued his steady rise in the rating as the Frenchman moved from 13 to eighth place in the ranking to halt the dominance of Asians in the ranking. Among the top 10 players ranked in the world, Europe has three players while Asia has seven.

In the women’s ranking, for the first time in her career that China’s Zhu Yuling has headed the list, she replaces compatriot – Ding Ning, the reigning Olympic and World champion whose name no long appears owing to a recent absence from the international scene.

The effect is that there is a climb of one place for China’s duo of Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen. Chen Meng is now at no.2 followed by Liu Shiwen. Similarly it is one position higher for the next three names in the order of merit. Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa is now at no.4 followed by Japanese compatriots – Miu Hirano and Mima Ito.

Efforts of Egypt’s Dina Meshref at the 2017 ITTF Women’s World were rewarded, as the African champion moved from no.103 to no.92.

ITTF World Cup: Mizutani Is Better Than Me, Quadri Admits

Aruna Quadri

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has admitted that Olympic bronze medalist Jun Mizutani is better than him after he crashed out of the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Cup in Liege, Belgium.

Mizutani beat Aruna 11-6, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 on Sunday in the Round of 16 to advance to the quarter-finals.

Quadri, however, said, “I fought from the beginning to the end but it was not meant to be; Jun Mizutani is stronger than me.”

He noted that he was unable to make it past the group stage in 2016, but his qualification this year was a result of the improvement in his games.

He added that Egypt’s Omar Assar also represented Africa well at the competition, though he was eliminated by number one seed and World Champion Ma Long of China.

“I think we (Assar and I) did great, it’s not a child’s play to have qualified out of that group when you are playing against best 20 players in the world,” Aruna said.

“We were doing great from the beginning, both of us qualified from the group. So, it’s something interesting; it means African table tennis is improving a lot now.”

Aruna, Omar To Represent Africa At ITTF World Cup

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri (L) and Egypt’s Omar Assar (R)

For the first time in the history of the ITTF World Cup, Africa will be having two representatives in the men’s event of the tournament holding October in Liege, Belgium.

Already, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri qualified in July as the winner of the ITTF Africa Cup and Egypt’s Omar Assar was confirmed as the second continental flagbearer based on his world ranking.

It was the performance of the two best African players that yielded positive results as Africa will be presenting two players for the first time at the annual championship.

President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy described the development as a giant stride for table tennis in Africa.

ITTF Nigeria Open: Quadri, Omar Seeded Sixth In Men’s Doubles

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has unveiled seeding list for the doubles events at the Nigeria Open. 

In the Men’s Doubles seeding list, India’s duo of Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Shetty Sanil are number one, while France’s Antoine Hachard and Gregoire Jean are number two in the list.

The only Nigerian in the Men’s Doubles seeding is Aruna Quadri who will partner Egypt’s Omar Assar and they are seeded number six.

In the Women’s Doubles seeding, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike will partner women’s singles defending champion, Portugal’s Jieni Shao and they are seeded number three.

Meanwhile, two Nigerian made the seeding list in the U-21 Singles rating for the championship as Azeez Solanke is seeded number two in the men’s U-21 Singles.

Italy’s Carlo Rossi has been seeded number one.

Nigeria’s Esther Oribamise is seeded number three in the Women’s U-21 Singles behind Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin and Egypt’s Amira Yousry who are seeded number one and two.

ITTF Names Quadri, Shao Top Seeds For Nigeria Open

Aruna Quadri

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Portugal’s Jieni Shao are top seeds in the men and women singles of the 2017 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open ‘Lagos 2017.

In the seeding list released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Quadri who is ranked 29 in the world tops the men’s list while his continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar, who is 38th in the world ranking, is seeded number two.

Just as Portugal’s Jieni Shao tops the seeding list in the women’s singles, experienced player Olufunke Oshonaike is the only Nigerian that made the seeding list in the women’s singles event of the competition.

2009 mixed doubles world champion, Qatar’s Li Ping, is number three seed in the men’s singles while defending champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah, is fourth on the seeding list.

Frenchman Antoine Hachard is fifth while India’s talisman and 2016 Belgium Open champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is sixth on the seeding list.

The second Egyptian on the seeding list is former African champion Ahmed Saleh who will be making his debut at the Nigeria Open. He is seeded seventh while India’s southpaw Sanil Shetty is eighth.

Other top players that made the seeding cut are Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay (ninth); Romania’s duo of Rares Sipos and Alexandru Cazacu are 10th and 11th seed respectively.

2014 Nigeria Open U-21 champion and quarterfinalist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo, is 12th on the seeding list while Nigeria-born Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu is 13th.

Italy’s teenage sensation Alessandro Baciocchi is 14th, India’s Sarthak Gandhi is 15th while Nigeria’s Kazeem Makanjuola complete the 16th ranked list.

For the eight seeded female players listed, defending champion, Portugal’s Shao is number one while last year’s runner-up, Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, is second on the list.

African women champion, Egypt’s Dina Meshref, is third; Russia’s Olga Kulikova is fourth; Hungary’s Bernadett Balint is fifth, while six-time Olympian, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike is sixth on the seeding list.

Ukraine’s Ganna Farladanska and India’s Krittwika Roy are seventh and eighth seeds respectively.