The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, NTTF and German fans are celebrating the heroic achievement of Aruna Quadri, who produced major world table tennis shocks by recording two upsets on the opening day of the Liebherr 2014 ITTF Men’s World Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany.
For the first day of the competition, Quadri did the impossible by beating world number 27 and 37 respectively to berth in the main draw of the championship alongside top eight players in the world.
This feat was widely celebrated on the NTTF website just as it endeared the Nigerian to the heart of the Germans who never expect much from the African Champion.
When Quadri was drawn in Group D alongside Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira and Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, there was nothing to ascertain whether the Portugal-based Nigerian will progress from the group.
But when Quadri played his first match against the world number 27, Japan’s Matsudaira, the venue, ISS Dome was thrown into frenzy with his ferocious forehand confusing the Japanese and also thrilling the spectators.
Prior to the encounter, many have written the Nigerian off, thinking that he came to add to the number of the participants at the tournament.
But to their chagrin, Quadri, who is rated 73 in the world wasted no time in dismissing the Japanese in an encounter that ended 4-2 (11-3, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2, 13-11) in his favour for him to claim the unexpected victory.
Also in the second match against Russia’s Shibaev, who is rated 37 in the world, Quadri was merciless when he overcame the European in a match that ended 4-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to top group as well as advanced to the main draw of the competition.
When the draw for the main draw was conducted, nobody still believed the Nigerian still has a lot to offer but again he dazed everybody at the ISS Dome again to beat world number 16, Hong Kong’s Tang Peng 4-2 (7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3) and set up a quarterfinal tie against the current World and Olympics champion, Jike Zhang of China.