ITTF’s wild card gives Aruna ticket to Tokyo Olympics
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) yesterday, revealed Quadri Aruna will participate in this year’s rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games vie its wild card by virtue of his ranking in the ITTF ranking. The Games hold between July 23 and August 8, 2021 in Japan.
According to ITTF, the Nigerian and African top-ranked player will join 85 others across the world to compete in the men’s singles event at the Games.
In a letter addressed to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) president and the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) President, it reads, “It is with great pleasure, I advise the qualification of Quadri Arena to compete in the table tennis Men’s Singles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on the basis of world ranking allocation according to the June 2021 ITTF Olympic Qualification Ranking,” said ITTF Competition Director, Gabor Felegyi.
Speaking on the new development, NTTF Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ishaku Tikon, said he had been vindicated when he stated that the world could not afford not to see Aruna at the Olympics as a result of his exploit in the ITTF’s circuits.
“When Aruna got injured during the African Qualifying tournament in Tunis last year, I told the world that he will make it to Tokyo as he is ranked among the top 10 in the Olympic ranking.
“Despite the setback in Tunisia, Aruna did not relent in his performance and for me I am so excited as a Nigerian because his qualification will surely motivate others to look up to him and aim for the best in Tokyo,” Tikon said. So far, 64 players have been confirmed to take part in the men’s singles event as six slots would be allocated as wildcards.