Africa’s number one male Table Tennis player, Aruna Quadri, started on a bright note at the World Table Tennis [WTT] championship in Doha on Wednesday.
Quadri, ranked 21st in the world, defeated the newly-crowned Indian national champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 3-0 (11-7, 11-4,11-8) in the first round of the men’s singles at the WTT Contender Series.
With that victory, Quadri set up a date with Portugal’s Joao Geraldo on Thursday in the second round.
The Nigerian will be hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games during the World Singles Qualification Tournament at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena in Doha, Qatar between 14-17 March 2021.
Three spots will be available for qualification in stage one in the men’s singles qualification tournament with entries to be split into three knockout rounds, starting from the round of 32, with the winner of each knockout round qualifying for the singles event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, six-time African women champion Dina Meshref was beaten by Korea Republic’s Hyowon Suh 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5) but the Egyptian duo Meshref and Omar Assar are still in the race in the mixed doubles event after working their way from the preliminaries to the main draw.
The $200,000 prize-money tournament is the first official WTT event with 298 players from 66 countries taking part.