WTT Tournament: Lin Ends Aruna’s Journey

File photo of Aruna Quadri in action.

 

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has crashed out of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Series in Doha, Qatar on Friday after losing 3-1 to Chinese Taipei’s Yun-Ju Lin.

Aruna who is ranked 21 in the world was set up against the world’s number seven in the quarter-final after his triumph over Joao Geraldo of Portugal in the Round of 16 and from the outcome of the tie against the Asian star, it was clear that the Nigerian did not concede defeat easily without giving a fight.

From the start of the encounter, Aruna did not allow his opponent to dictate the tie and he ensured he fought for every point.

Aruna’s powerful forehand most times confused his opponent but his inaccuracy in backhand was a weakness that earned the Asian star some points in the first game which ended 8-11 in Lin’s favour.

Just like the first game, the second game was full of rallies and both players matched themselves shots for shots with the Asian star having an upper hand with a 9-11 win. However, in the third game, Aruna wanted to halt the run of his opponent that even when the match was at 10-8 in favour of the Asian star, Aruna fought back to level the game at 10-10 with both players winning point by point but the Nigerian prevailed at 17-15 to put the match at 2-1.

The fourth game had all the ingredients of the others and Aruna was leading 6-4 while the inability of the Nigerian technical team to read the game cost Aruna and it ends at 9-11 in favour of Lin to complete a 3-1 win.

Despite his exit, the Nigerian has set a standard for African players to look beyond the quarter-final at the WTT tournament.

The second tiers of the WTT Middle East Hub ‘WTT Star Contender kick on March 7 to 13 with the preliminary involving the likes of Olajide Omotayo and other African stars in their quest to join Aruna in the main draw.

WTT Tournament: Aruna Advances, Battles Geraldo In Second Round

File photo of Quadri Aruna

 

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has defeated Indian national champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to book a place in the second round of the men’s singles at the first official  World Table Tennis (WTT) Tournament taking place in Doha.

Aruna, who is Africa’s only surviving player at the tournament, dismissed the newly-crowned Indian national champion in a manner that confirmed his quality as he dominated the match from the start to the end.

The Indian superstar who had boasted of his readiness to send the Nigerian packing in the first round was stunned by Aruna’s performance.

An elated Aruna described the win as awesome. “I am happy because everything seems to work well for me in the match. I had taken my time to study his game and everything I picked worked well for me in the encounter. I am looking forward to the next match and I hope to approach every match with all seriousness,” Aruna said after the match.

With this win, Aruna will now face a familiar face in Portugal’s Joao Geraldo who had a walk-over over Slovakia’s Yang Wang who was disqualified for breaking COVID-19 protocol put in place by the organisers.

In the women’s singles, it was not a good outing for six-time African women champion, Dina Meshref of Egypt as she was beaten by Korea Republic’s Hyowon Suh 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5). Meshref and Omar Assar are still in the race in the mixed doubles event of the championship.

The $200,000 prize money WTT Star Contender events will take place over six days and WTT Contender events will deliver four days of action, with each event featuring men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

Omotayo Exits, Aruna Ready To Compete At WTT Tournament In Qatar

File photo of Aruna Quadri

 

Olajide Omotayo bowed has crashed out of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Middle East Hub taking place in Doha, Qatar in the second stage of the preliminary round.

Omotayo, on Sunday, set an African record as the first player from the continent to win a match at the WTT tournament after beating Kazakhstan’s Alan Kurmangaliyev in the first stage of the preliminary round with players from Egypt and Algeria tasting defeats in all their matches.

Pitched against the best player in the German Bundesliga, Sweden’s Anton Kallberg, the 2019 African Games champion showed class against his opponent despite going 2-0 (11-8, 11-3) down in the tie, Omotayo fought back with 11-9, 11-7 wins to put the match at 2-2. Even in the deciding game, Omotayo was leading 7-5 before surrendering the match to his European counterpart at 11-7 to exit the competition from the preliminary round.

“It was not easy after a year of not playing any official match but I am happy with my performance. All I need to do now is to concentrate on what I did not do right and try to improve that aspect. With this tournament I gained more confidence going into the next tournament. I hope to watch more matches of top players in readiness for another tournament later this week in Doha,” Omotayo said.

Egypt’s duo of Omar Assar and Ahmed Saleh were also not lucky in their matches as they were bundled out from the same stage of the competition by their European counterparts.

2019 Nigeria Open revelation Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw remains the only African that progressed to the third stage of the preliminary after a convincing 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6) win over Romania’s Sipos Rares.

And to be sure of competing alongside Quadri Aruna in the main draw, Diaw will have to overcome Russia’s Kirill Skachkov on Tuesday Match 2.

Aruna who is the only ranked African in the top 20 seeded players is shaping up for the main draw expected to kick off on Wednesday Match 3 as the organisers unveiled the new show court tables expected to be used for the main draw event of the tournament.

The $200,000 prize-money tournament is the first official WTT event with 298 players from 66 countries participating.