The Nigerian table tennis star, Aruna Quadri, has reclaimed the African men’s table tennis crown after defeating the Egyptian reigning champion, Omar Assar, 4-3 to return as the continent’s best player.
Aruna’s achieved the victory against the Egyptian’s player after defeating his opponent in three straight sets to end the match before a crowd that gathered to watch the continent’s best athletes display their skills.
During the game played on Friday in Algiers, the Algerian capital, the Nigerian table tennis player surprised many at the stadium after going down in two sets but dug deep to come out victorious 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 14-12.
Both players were not really tested at the ITTF African Senior Championships until the final, where they both played their best match in the tournament, with the Nigerian displaying the guts.
It was already looking like Aruna would succumb to Assar for the umpteenth time before he mustered a brave fight back
After taking the first two sets, Assar was already leading 3-1 in the third set. But the Nigerian’s tenacity and prowess came to the fore as he fought back to level at 3-3 and was leading in the final game for the tie to go into 12-12.
Reacting over the victory, Aruna described the tie as energy-sapping while he lauded his opponent for a magnificent display.
“I think I gave my all and even when I was down, I did not give up. I think I just stayed focused and this worked out for me and I am happy that my efforts in Algiers paid off for me,” he added.
This win will surely shore up Aruna’s ranking in the world while Taiwo Mati, the young Nigerian who made it to the semi-final, should also see an immense improvement in his global ranking.