Record breaker Quadri Aruna out of ITTF Finals after historic quarterfinal appearance
Quadri Aruna of Nigeria and Truls Moregard of Sweden in action during the men’s singles quarterfinal match of the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by AFP)Quadri Aruna is out of the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals after losing to Sweden’s Truls Moregard in the quarterfinal in the early hours of Sunday, but the city of Houston, in the US state of Texas stood still for the Nigerian after he became the first African to reach the quarterfinal in the history of the championship.
Aruna made his presence felt amidst the array of stars competing at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals staged at the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston, Texas, United States.
Earlier on Thursday, Aruna had beaten the round of 32 record set in 2019 by Egypt’s duo of Omar Assar and Ahmed Saleh after he breezed into the round of 16. But he erased the record to set another one with a place in the quarterfinal of the championships.
The 2014 ITTF World Player of Year became the first Nigerian and player from Africa to feature in the last eight at the World Table Tennis Championship after he defeated Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson 4-3 (11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6).
But he couldn’t beat a second Swede in a row as he lost 4-2 (13-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7) to Moregard.
“It means a lot to me,” he said, “especially for Nigeria and the whole of Africa. Table tennis is growing very fast in Africa. Now we have several players in the Top 100,” said Aruna.