[FILES] Quadri Aruna

ITTF inducts Oshonaike into ‘Club Seven’ of Olympians

Quadri Aruna will take on Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi on table four in one of today’s third-round fixtures of the table tennis event holding at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Aruna, who is ranked number 15, is making his third appearance at the Olympics, having featured in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Aruna is the highest-rated player from the continent for the Olympics and will be expected to go past the Brazilian ranked number 25.

The Nigerian hopeful qualified for the Olympics on the basis of his rating according to the June 2021 ITTF Olympic Qualification Ranking.

Aruna, who became the first African in the history of the Olympic Games to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the singles event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is competing against 85 others in the men’s singles event in this Olympics.

Aruna is the only Nigerian remaining in the table tennis event as Offiong Edem, who became the first Nigerian to win a match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by defeating Hungary’s Dora Madarasz 4-1 in the women’s singles round one, yesterday crashed out of the competition. She lost 1-4 to United States’ Zhang Lily in round two.

Meanwhile, seven-time Olympian, Olufunke Oshonaike, was yesterday inducted by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) into the exclusive ‘Club 7’, making her the first woman to be inducted into the club.

She was honoured at a brief ceremony held yesterday in Tokyo, attended by the President of ITTF, Thomas Weikert.

Also in attendance were former inductees, Jörgen Persson of Sweden (1988 to 2012), Zoran Primorac of Croatia and the former Yugoslavia (1988 to 2012), Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive (1988 to 2012), and Segun Toriola (1992 – 2016).

Oshonaike crashed out of the table tennis event in the preliminary round by losing to Liu Juan of the United States.

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