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Aruna Quadri Qualifies For Tokyo Olympics

By Centus Nweze

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Nigerian tennis legend, Aruna Quadri, has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games and this was confirmed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Tuesday.

ITTF confirmed the Tokyo Olympic qualification of Africa’s No.1 player on the basis of world ranking allocation in the latest June 2021 ITTF Olympics qualification ranking.

Recall that after his unsuccessful qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through the World Singles Qualification Tournament (WSQT) in Doha, Qatar, the Nigerian then hoped to still pick the Olympic Games ticket through the ITTF ranking.

Listed among the 73 men competing at the WSQT and seeded number two behind England’s Liam Pitchford, Aruna yesterday fell to Russian sensation Vladimir Sidorenko 4-2 (11-3, 11-13, 11-6, 9-11, 4-11, 7-11) to miss out from picking the ticket from WSQT.

Despite expressing disappointment over his performance against the Russian who last week edged out Egypt’s Omar Assar from the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender, Aruna is optimistic that with his performance at the WTT Contender Series and Star Contender, his spot in Tokyo is certain.

Quadri will be participating at the rescheduled Tokyo Games after the ITTF confirmed his qualification on Tuesday.

This was confirmed in a letter addressed to the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and singed by ITTF Competition Director Gabor Felegyi.

“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,” Felegyi stated.

Aruna, who is the first African in the history of the Olympic Games to make it to the quarter-final stage of the singles event, is expected to join 85 others across the globe to compete in the men’s singles at Tokyo Olympic Games next month.

Felegyi in the letter stated that the NOC is expected to confirm Aruna’s participation on or before June 16.

Meanwhile, 64 players have so far been confirmed for the men’s singles event at the Olympics while the remaining six slots are expected to be allocated as wildcards.

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