Africa’s highest-ranked table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, has retained the Nigeria Open Men’s Singles title after defeating Austria’s Gardos Robert 4-2 on Sunday in Lagos.
Quadri, ranked number 22 in the world, went on a thrilling six games decider (15-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1) to defeat world ranked number 64, Gardos, at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
With his latest feat, Quadri has equalled the record hitherto solely held by Omar Assar; wining the Nigeria Open back-to-back.
Assar won Nigeria Open in 2014 and defended it in 2015 to become the only player to achieve the feat before Quadri did same on Sunday
Quadri won the tournament in 2018 and has successfully defended it in 2019.
He walked home with $7,000 for winning the 2019 championship.
Reacting to the victory, Quadri said he was happy to win the title again, adding that an injury almost discouraged him
“I am very happy I got this title again, though from the beginning I faced some difficulties with my health because I had a neck injury but I managed to gain confidence after my previous victory,” he said
He said he will need some more treatment before deciding his outing at the African Games in Morocco.
“For now I have to take care of my health because I have been representing Nigeria for the past 11 days so without taking treatment. I don’t know if I would be able to go for the All Africa Games,” he concluded
In the women’s singles, Russia’s Mikhailova Polina went head to head in an exciting 4-3 come back with Noskova Yana of Russia to be crowned champion of the event.
In the Men’s double event, Nuytinck Cedric and Robinot Quentin defeated Nigeria’s duo of Toriola Segun and Omotayo Olajide in a straight 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 12-10) to win the doubles event.
The Russian duo of Mikhailova Polina and Noskova Yana won the Women’s doubles event after beating Croatia duo of Jazbec Ida and Malobabic Ivana 3-2 (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 7-11).