Former national table tennis coach, Babatunde Obisanya, has described Quadri Aruna’s recent attainment at international competitions as a good one. But he believes that the Nigerian cannot be rated as a truly great player if he does not start winning laurels.
Aruna last week set a new record as the first African to make it to the semifinals of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender. The Africa’s top ranked player also became the first player in the world to beat three top Chinese players in a row to book a place in the last four.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Obisanya said he still had his reservation over Aruna’s recent feats when none of them have actually translated to laurels for himself and the country.
“One thing I know is that the recent success achieved by Aruna is a good one. But at the same time, the one who is beating top ranked players in the world must also have a steady performance over a period of time.
“That is when I, as a technical person, will rate such a player as being good. But I look forward to Quadri actually winning major games that will put him on a higher pedestal. If that does not happen, then as far as I am concerned, there is nothing to celebrate,” he said.
Obisanya, who tutored many household table tennis players like Atanda Musa and Yomi Bankole, among others, added: “In the last competition that Aruna played, he lost to a very lowly ranked player. And with that disappointment, you cannot say that he is doing well.
“I think Aruna needs to gird his loins and win major competitions before he can truly be counted as a great player.
“Now that the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is around the corner, Aruna has the opportunity to prove himself by winning medals there before he can truly be said to be performing well,” he said.
On former international, Atanda Musa, who recently expressed willingness to coach the national team, Obisanya said the country’s former number one star can do the job, adding, however, that his pedigree should be taken into consideration before deciding on his ambition.