Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has again set another continental record after the 2014 ITTF Star Player became the first African to play in the quarterfinal of the men’s singles at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Quadri, a quarter-finalist at the Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup in the German city of Düsseldorf to become the first ever African to achieve the feat in the prestigious tournament; on the late afternoon of Monday 8th August, Quadri Aruna became the first player from the continent to reach the same round at an Olympic Games.
Sensationally, just one day short of his 28th birthday, he beat Timo Boll, the former World no.1 and the no.10 seed in Rio de Janeiro,
Incredibly, Quadri Aruna withstood a brave recovery by the German after winning the first three games to secure a six games success (12-10, 12-10, 11-5, 3-11, 5-11, 11-5).
“It’s a miracle; this is amazing, I don’t know what to say, my fans made the victory possible”, said a dazed Quadri Aruna. “Thank you to all the Brazilian spectators for their support; they gave me so much energy; this feels so good, it is a dream comes true that I am in the quarter-finals.”
A disappointed Boll said: “He has surprised a lot of people. I knew he was good coming into the match. I just have to say well played! His whole game is different, so it took me awhile to work it out. Once I was 0-3 down I started to get more into the match, but it was already too late.”