Aruna Quadri. PHOTO / AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA

• Egypt’s Omar Assar equals quarterfinals feat
Team Nigeria’s captain to the Tokyo Olympic Games, Aruna Quadri, has lamented his ouster from the Tokyo Olympics, saying he has disappointed Sports Minister, Sunday Dare.

Quadri, who became Africa’s first Ping Ponger to play in the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics in Brazil, was bundled out in his third round by Brazilian Gustavo Tsuboi 4-2 (15-13, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11).

Much was expected from the Nigerian but he succumbed to the Brazilian who was lowly ranked to him.

“Without doubt, Sports Minister Dare has done a lot to change sports and athletes welfare in his short time. His adopt an athlete initiative has impacted so much on many athletes. I feel disappointed I could not get a medal to say thank you,” Quadri said at the Games Village mix zone in Tokyo.

He confessed that his Brazilian opponent was better than him. “That’s sports for you. I am a better player than him in ranking but he played very much better to win. You know anyone in top 100 can spring a surprise at any time. I did not underrate him because we play in Bundesliga and I know what he’s capable of doing.

“It’s not the end of life. We’ll continue to work to see what will happen in future.”

With his defeat, all Team Nigeria’s Table Tennis players have all been knocked out from the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Omar Assar has equaled Quadri Aruna’s Olympic Games record as the second African player to reach the quarterfinal stage of the men’s singles table tennis event at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Yesterday at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Assar continued with his good run with a close 4-3 (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7) win over Chinese Taipei’s veteran Chih Yuan Chuang in the round of 16 tie of the men’s singles.

Starting his campaign from the second round, Assar beat Ukraine’s Lei Kou 4-3 (15-13, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4) to book his place in the fourth round.

In the fourth round, the Egyptian star defeated World vice-champion, Sweden’s Mattias Falck 4-3 (11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8) to berth in the last 16.
respect him having played together in the same club in France,” Assar said.

Ahead of the tie against Ma Long, Assar said: “Ma Long is the greatest of all time, I am playing well here and I will do my best against him.”



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