Best-ranked Africa player, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has advanced to the semi final of the men’s singles category of the ongoing 2018 ITTF Challenge, Seamaster Nigeria Open.
The Oyo-born athlete eased past Romanian challenger, Sipos Rares this evening at the Molade-Okoya Thomas Hall of The Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
It was a 4-0 drubbing for Sipos who bowed to the superior firepower of Aruna 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 in front of an electric Lagos crowd. The Sporting CP of Portugal player is the only Nigerian left in any category of this year’s edition of Africa’s elite table-tennis championship.
Aruna, 30, will now face Wisutmaythangkoon Supanut of Thailand on Sunday – the same day of the final.
The other semi final match (men) sees Rumgay Gavin (Scotland) square up with Hachard Antoine (France).
Meanwhile, all four contenders in the women’s singles semi finals are from China.
Earlier in the day, Aruna dispatched compatriot, Kazeem Makanjuola 4-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7).
Last year, Aruna lost to fellow Nigerian Bode Abiodun in the round of 16 singles events. Since then, he has been rising steadily. The last global ranking installs him as the first Nigerian and only the second African to make the top18 rating in the monthly ranking of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). He rose from 20 to 18 in the August rating released by the world table tennis ruling body.
From the inception of the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open, no Nigerian player has won the title in the singles events. In spite of the fact that the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode promised to give cash bonuses to successful Nigerian players participating in the tournament, the likes of Segun Toriola, Omotayo Olajide and Funke Oshonaike couldn’t perform outstandingly.
Notwithstanding the outcome of his match versus Aruna, Sipos should be proud of his efforts. No shame losing to the tournament top seed!
Don’t forget to bookmark and follow us on our social media channels.