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Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri became the first African player in history to qualify for the quarterfinal of the Table Tennis event at the Olympics, continuing his incredible performance at the Rio Games by dismissing World No.13, Timo Boll with a 4-2 victory on Monday, August 8.

The African Games Silver medallist cleared the doubts of anyone who thought he was done with his record breaking form, winning his Round 4 match with so much adrenaline and some intense moments, coming from a 3-0 lead to give his German opponent room to take over 3-2, before eventually sealing the victory by 4-2 ( 12-10, 12-10, 11-5, 3-11, 5-11, 11-9).

With this feat, Quadri overtakes the previous record held by veteran and 7-time Olympian Segun Toriola, who made it to Round 4 at the Beijing Olympic Games. Before his historic win against Boll, Quadri caused a huge upset in Round 3, completely outclassing 5th seeded player Chih-Yuan Chuang with a shocking 4-0 win, thereby becoming the only African player left in the competition.

Interestingly, what was more astonishing with his win against Chuang was that he executed his game-plan effectively, winning in straight sets 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 and 11-7, thus exerting revenge on the Chinese Taipei player who had earlier in the year defeated Quadri at the German Open by the same margin of 4-0.

The highest ranked player in Africa will now face the stiffest opposition in his career as he goes against World No.1, China’s Ma Long in the quaterfinal. If Quadri pulls this off successfully, he’ll surely be the top seed for the GOLD medal.

More to follow!

Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.


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