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Meet Aruna Quadri, the man who may win Nigeria’s first Olympic medal in table tennis


On Monday, a day to his 28th birthday, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri became the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games table tennis event.

He beat London 2012 bronze medalist Germany’s Timo Boll 4-2 in the fourth round of the men’s singles.

The 28-year-old also defeated world number 13 in 16 minutes, winning his third game in Rio, to send Brazilian fans into a frenzied chant of Nigeria! Nigeria!!

Unlike Segun Toriola and Funke Oshinaike, Team Nigeria’s table tennis players who are attending their 7th and 6th Olympics respectively,  Quadri is attending his second Olympics.

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Here are some quick facts about the man who has already set an African record and soon top it with a medal.

Aruna Quadri was born on August 9, 1988.

He started playing table tennis at a very early age. He played so well that when he was in Oba Adeyemi High School Oyo, Oyo State, he represented the school and Oyo State at various table tennis competitions.

He has played with clubs like Union Bank Sports Club, Lagos, Playing class Super Division (Iran) and B.I.P.C. Table Tennis Club, Iran.

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At one time, he was coached by Segun Toriola and more recently, by German coach Martin Adomeit who guided him to the quarter-finals of the 2014 table tennis World Cup. He is currently ranked 38th.

quadri adomeit

At African championships, Quadri was quarter-finalist Men’s Single in 2007 and 2008, Semifinalist Doubles 2007 and was the Champion in 2009.

In January 2015 he became the first African to be crowned World Best Table Tennis Player by World Table Tennis governing body, ITTF, at an award ceremony at the Armani Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Later that year, he led his Portuguese team GD Toledos to win gold at the Mediterranean Club Championship. Before joining GD Toledos three years ago, Quadri was with AR Novelense and has so far won the league, super cup and the Mediterranean trophy with the two clubs.

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Quadri Aruna Segun Toriola

Aruna, the first African player to top the ranking list of players in the Commonwealth signed for French club Jura Morez TT, where he currently plays in May 2015.