By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
World number 20 and Africa’s top-ranked table tennis sensation, Aruna Quadri said that he is preparing ahead of his next challenge in the 2020/2021 German Bundesliga season. www.kick442.com can report.
Quadri revealed this and other aspirations on Channels TV’s ‘Sports This Morning’.
“I have been doing very well and fine. I am giving thanks to God. Everyone is safe in my family. For the last three and a half months, it has been very hard and difficult times for everyone. We have nothing to do than to be keeping safe. We are looking forward to being back in sports again. In the next three days, we will be playing in the Portuguese League Final.
“Hopefully by God’s grace, I will be as competitive just like before. I am practicing very well as I have started practising since day one of last month, June. It’s been one month of practicing already. I am looking forward to being back in the game in the next three days that we will be testing ourselves at the Portuguese League Final which will be my last match for Sporting Club here in Portugal.
Aruna Quadri recently signed for German Bundesliga side, TC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell ahead of the 2020-2021 season.
He also spoke on how he is preparing for next season as he said that he is up to the task as far as the German league is concerned.
“I think table tennis in Germany is of the highest level. It is the most difficult league in Europe. I am up to the task as I am always preparing very well. I have played in the French League where I did well where I won 70% and lost 30% of my matches. The level in France is almost the same thing in Germany. I am looking forward to having a better outing in Germany.
“The club that I am joining in Germany is a very good club. A club that doesn’t really put any kind of pressure on their athletes. They have been in existence for more than three decades. They have always been playing in the first Bundesliga League. It’s a very serious club. I got this club through my new sponsor. Since I joined my new sponsor one year ago, they have been making all the moves that I have to play in Germany because of the marketing issues that they have. It is very important for my sponsor for me to start playing in Germany. This is one of the reasons why I have to go to the German league.
Quadri is yet to pick a qualification spot at next year’s Olympics as he retired during the last qualification series due to injury. He is 99% sure of his qualification for the Tokyo Olympics by virtue of his current ITTF World ranking.
“For now, I am number two in the Olympic Games rankings and this means that 99% I am already at the Olympics but my name is not yet there. About 30 positions will be decided through world ranking and I am in number two out of this ranking position. The chances are so high. I am in the Tokyo Olympic Games already. At the end of the qualification series after playing one more qualification series in Qatar, the list will be out. I am looking to qualify through the qualification series but even without the series, I would be at the Olympics based on my world ranking.
The African top-ranked player is also confident that he can surpass his quarter-final feat at Tokyo Olympics.
“Everyone wants to win. It’s not going to be very easy but of course, with determination, self-confidence, and God on my side, nothing is actually impossible. It’s even more possible to do much better than before but it won’t be easy.
“We have a lot of table tennis talents in Nigeria but the problem is always the financial aspect of it. More youth development programs must be staged locally and internationally and this has to do with a lot of money. Table tennis still needs some funding from the government, individuals, and different companies with sponsors. If sponsors can come on board, then we can be able to see more and better talents than Aruna Quadri and other past table tennis players in Africa.” He concluded.
Aruna Quadri holds the record as the only African table tennis player to reach the quarter-final stage of table tennis singles event at Rio 2016 Olympics. He will be hoping to surpass that record at the Tokyo Olympics which is now rescheduled to take place in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
QQuadri will be the only African competing in the German elite league this year after Egypt’s Omar Assar quit Borussia Dusseldorf to move to France.
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