Fresh champion in the men’s singles event of the just-concluded 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri says he is hungry to win The African Games title. The continental multi-sport event is the sole honour that has eluded Africa’s highest ranked table-tennis player (men) in his impressive career.
An elated Aruna speaking after his triumph over Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh in the final in the Indian Ocean island nation, says he is eager to win the African Games which he is yet to have in his kitty.
“I think I have won virtually all the titles in Africa. The only one I am still hungry to win is the African Games title which I believe I will continue to work hard in order to win it next year in Morocco. I am happy that I am winning this African Championships title for the first time particularly less than one month after I won the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos. I am grateful to the Mauritian fans for their support throughout all my matches,” he notes.
Bit about African Games
Formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games, sports competed in at The African Games are Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Chess, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Field hockey, Judo, Karate, Kick-boxing, Netball, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
In July, Morocco agreed to step in as hosts of the 2019 African Games. This follows Equatorial Guinea announcing in November 2017 that they would no longer be able to organise the event.
They had been named as hosts in 2016, in what would have marked the first time the west African country had been the location for the event.
Falling oil prices and economic problems were cited as one reason for the withdrawal.
Oyo state-born Quadri did not drop a point from the first round (round of 64) until the final when he defeated Saleh 4-1 to win his first African Championships title which he narrowly lost to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2016.
In the women’s singles final, Dina Meshref, who lost the title to Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike in 2016, reclaimed her title after a convincing 4-0 win over compatriot – Reem El-Eraky in the women’s singles final.
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