2018 AJC Qualifiers: Quadri, Marylove To Lead Team Nigeria

Oyinlomo Quadri and Marylove Edwards will headline Team Nigeria’s title defence as the 2018 ITF/CAT West and Central Africa Junior Championship Qualifiers serves off in Lome, Togo on Monday.

Nigeria is aiming for a record-extending seventh consecutive overall winners title at the tournament which will draw to a close on January 17 featuring 12 countries.

Rebecca Ekpeyong and Oiza Yakubu will compete alongside Quadri in the girls’ 16 and under while Iye Onoja and Reya Holmes will fly represent the country in the 14 and under.

The boy’s team is also formidable with Friday Gabriel, Matthew Abamu and Sani Musa battling in the boys’ 16 and under while Sulaiman Ibrahim, Usman Kushimo and Canice Joseph jostle in the 14 and under.

The trio of Holmes, Kushimo and Joseph will be making their debut for Nigeria. South Africa will host the 14 and under while the 16 and under championship will take place in Tunisia.

Nigeria’s coach, Mohammed Ubale expressed confidence of the team clinching the top position. He cited the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) newly-introduced Play Your Age tournament which took place in Abuja mid-December as well as the five-day close camping in Lagos as an ideal preparation for the country.

“The players are in good shape and are eager to do the country proud again as we have been topping the overall champions of this tournament for several years.

“It’s not going to be easy because the likes of Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroun are breathing down our neck regarding who dominates junior tennis in the region. Nonetheless, we are good to go as we look to clinch as many tickets for the main tournaments coming up late this year.”

Quadri has been one of the top junior players in the continent in the past three years and will be aiming for the top prize in the Girls’ 16 and under category which she won last year.

She will be playing for a third successive gold medal after winning the 14 and under title in Abuja in 2016 where she defeated Edwards in the final and triumphing last year in her present category.

On her part, Edwards, who is on holiday having shifted base to the Unites States last September, looks good to rule the 14 and under category.

Quadri Ready For ITTF World Tour In Poland

ITTF-quadriAfter a disappointing start in the French League, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will this week return to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour in Warsaw, Poland.

Last week, Quadri could not save his French team, Morez from losing 4-zero to Chartres A.S in the elite league of the French Table Tennis League.

Quadri is seeded number 25 and he will start his campaign from the main draw of the men’s singles of the five-day tournament.

In the men’s doubles, the Nigerian will partner his continental arch-rival and friend, Egypt’s Omar Assar.

Quadri Inspires GD Toledos To Win Portuguese Super Cup

QuadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has once again shown his quality as a world class table tennis player when he assisted GD Toledos to retain this year’s title of the Portuguese Cup in Porto.

Playing from the preliminary stage till the final day, Quadri supported by his Portuguese teammates showed class to record 3-0 win against Juncal in the semi-final.

But it was in the final match against fans’ favourite, Sporting Lisbon that Quadri showed class. Despite dropping a game,t he Nigerian and his teammates stayed focused and ensured that the cup remained with GD Toledos.

They won 3-1 to win the title for the third consecutive time.

An excited Quadri believes the success will motivate him as he looks forward to the new week’s Kuwait Open.

“I feel so great winning the title again and team work materialized in delivering the Portuguese Cup once again.

“I have won the title thrice in a row and retaining the title again has increased my confidence for Qatar and Kuwait Opens. I think this weekend matches in the Portuguese Cup has prepared for the next coming pro tours due to the fact that I played some tough matches,” he confirmed.

Meanwhile, as a result of the defeat he suffered at the Africa Senior Championship to Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali, Quadri dropped from 30 to 32 in the latest ITTF ranking while his conqueror improved in his rating from 195 to 179 in the world.

Also, for emerging as winner of the ITTF Africa Senior Championship, Egypt’s Omar Assar is ranked 43; a position which exceeds his previous best of 57 in July 2013.

The Oyo State-born athlete admitted that the slide in his world rating would ensure he continues to work hard.

“My ranking going down is a wake-up call although I felt disappointed and at the same time I am happy that I gained more additional point to my ranking bonus points. It is a sign that I must work harder than before and I am finally happy that Africa is having two players in top 50 with Egypt’s Omar Assar now rated 43,” he said.

As the Kuwait Open, one of major series in the ITTF World Tours, serves off on Wednesday February 11; Quadri will be campaigning from the qualifiers as the world’s top 16 will be competing from the main draw having been seeded by the organizers of the championship.