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Aruna bows out of 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships

Quadri Aruna’s history-making run at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Houston came to an end, following a 4-2 loss to Sweden’s Truls Moregard in the quarterfinals

Quadri Aruna of Nigeria serves against Truls Moregard of Sweeden during the men’s singles quarterfinal match of the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships at George R. Brown Convention Center on November 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Tim Warner / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Quadri Aruna’s history-making run at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Houston came to an end, following a 4-2 loss to Sweden’s Truls Moregard in the quarterfinals of the men’s singles.

Aruna, who had earlier in the round of 16 defeated Swedish Kristian Karlsson, lamented his inability to tame the young and skilful 19-year-old Swede, after falling behind in the first two games of the 4-2 (13-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7) loss in the quarter-finals.

“I think I did very well. I gave my heart and soul but the last match was not meant to be.

“The first two sets were really important. We started like 50-50, the first set I was like 10-8 and I lost. The second set too I lost with almost the same margin. The two sets made the biggest difference but of course, he played amazingly,” he said.

Aruna, who was hoping to consolidate on his impressive run at the championships, however, missed a chance while leading 10-8, giving Moregard the opportunity to take the first stab to claim the first game at 13-11.

The young Swedish player’s strong start continued into the second game, blasting through it to land an 11-8 victory to take a 2-0 lead into the third game.

Aruna’s response in the third game was, however, a huge contrast to the previous games as he went on a 9-0 run, and pushed back the advances of Moregard, to win the game 11-2 and reduce the deficit to 2-1.

On his record in Houston, Texas, he said, “It will motivate them, you know when Toriola got to the round of 32 in the Olympic games, it motivated a lot of us. So I was in the quarter-final in Rio, Omar Assar was motivated and excited, he did the same in Tokyo, Now what I did here, I am very sure Omotayo, Iba or Omar Assar can even do better”.