Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has become the first African to win an ITTF title outside the continent after defeating Japan’s Kaii Yoshida to lift the Polish Open title on Sunday.
Quadri has thus made a statement of intent ahead of the 2017 ITTF World Cup scheduled to hold in Liege, Belgium from October 20 to 22.
The Nigerian, who has been listed among the top 20 players in the world that will compete at the prestigious World Cup, defied all odds to emerge as men’s singles champion after beating Yoshida 11-7, 11-13 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12 (4-2).
The final match against the Japanese lived up to expectation as both players tested each other strength-for-strength and skills-for-skills but it was the Nigerian that laughed last.
As a seeded player in the tournament, Quadri ensured that he maintained his status with a resounding victory to the chagrin of the Polish fans who queued behind the Japanese throughout the encounter.
Also Quadri’s opponent enjoyed support from the home fans as he plies his trade in the Polish league. But this did not deter Quadri from raising his game to cage the Japanese.
Prior to beating the Japanese in the final, Quadri had defeated Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6) earlier in the semifinal stage of the competition.
In the women’s singles event, it was a Japanese affair as ITTF World Cup defending champion, Mima Ito defeated her compatriot Saki Shibata 4-1 to emerge as winner.
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