Nigeria’s table tennis star, Quadri Aruna, will be making his third appearance at the Olympic Games after the International Table Tennis Federation confirmed his qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Tuesday.
The African No.1 player’s qualification was confirmed in a letter signed by the ITTF Competition Director, Gabor Felegyi, and addressed to the President, Nigeria Olympics Committee and the Caretaker Chairman of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation.
Aruna’s qualification for the Olympics was based on the ITTF World Ranking, where he is placed 20th in the June 2021 Olympics qualification ranking.
“It is with great pleasure, I advise the qualification of Quadri Aruna to compete in the table tennis men’s singles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on the basis of World Ranking allocation according to the June 2021 ITTF Olympic Qualification Ranking,” Felegyi wrote in the letter.
He will join Olajide Omotayo, Funke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong who have all qualified at the African qualifying tournament in Tunisia last year.
The PUNCH had reported that Aruna couldn’t qualify for the Olympics last year, after suffering an injury, which forced him to retire from the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunis.
The Nigerian also failed to book a slot at the Games after being knocked out in his opening match against world No.185, Russian Vladimir Sidorenko, at the World Singles Qualification Tournament last month.
The 32-year-old is the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympics table tennis event, a feat he achieved at the 2016 Games in Brazil.
The NOC has until June 16 to confirm Aruna’s participation in the Olympics.