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Quadri Aruna: Best Black Player in Table Tennis to Add to Your Watch List

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Table tennis isn’t the biggest sport in Africa, but that doesn’t mean that the continent lacks players. Egypt and Nigeria are the continent’s best countries in the sport. Nigeria has produced one of the best African table tennis players in Quadri Aruna. He’s the first African to rank among the world’s top 10. Let’s find out about his career.

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Quadri Aruna’s Career

Spotcovery-Quadri Aruna: Best Black Player in Table Tennis to Add to Your Watch List
Quadri Aruna playing table tennis. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Nigerian went to LA School in New Durban and then joined Oba Adeyemi Grammar School. That said, he’d already started playing table tennis on the streets. He mainly did it for fun until he realized that there was a tennis table center near his home where he started practicing. 

His brother was also a good player and he used to accompany him to a hall. Through this, he met a former player turned coach Abolarin Oluwole who’s credited for discovering him.

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Competitions

His first tournament was in Lagos, Nigeria, and this drew media interest to him. By 2014, he’d started going to international tournaments, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he won a bronze medal. 

Two years later, Aruna registered one of his best career performances at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rion de Jainero. He defeated Wang Yang, Chuang Chih-yuan and Timo Boll, all of whom are some of the best players in the world. Chinese player Ma Long stopped him.

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More Competitions

The following year, the player became the African Cup Champion at the 2017 ITTF African Cup. He defeated Naim Karali, Mohamed El-beiali, Omar Assar. In the same year, he participated in the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships and failed to defend his African Cup title in 2018. In 2021, Quadri Aruna played in the WTT Contender but lost in the quarter-finals.

The following year, he defeated China’s Zhou Qihao in World Table Tennis and was the first African player to reach the semi-finals of the competition. 

Quadri Aruna continues to raise the Nigerian flag high. He’s shown that he can compete against the best and even though he’s yet to overcome some of the top players, his record remains impressive.

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