Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri who is the first African in the history of the Olympic Games to make it to the quarter-final stage of the table tennis singles event is to join 85 others across the globe to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
The confirmation was made known yesterday by the world table tennis governing body, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
The letter of confirmation signed by ITTF’s Competition Director, Gabor Felegyi was addressed to the president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).
However, the NOC is expected to confirm Aruna’s participation on or before June 16.
“It is with great pleasure, I advise the qualification of Quadri Arena 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 stated.
With the ITTF confirmation, Aruna will be making his third appearance at the Olympic Games having featured in London 2012 and Rio 2016 and he will join his compatriots – Olajide Omotayo, Olufunke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong to compete in the singles event at Tokyo.
An excited Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of NTTF, Ishaku Tikon said, “When Aruna got injured during the African Qualifying tournament in Tunis last year, I told the world that he will make it to Tokyo as he is ranked among the top 10 in the Olympic ranking.
“Despite the setback in Tunisia, Aruna did not relent in his performance and for me I am so excited as a Nigerian because his qualification will surely motivate others to look up to him and aim for the best in Tokyo.”