Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna played a vital role in ensuring that TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell moved to eighth place in the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) after their first away win of the season at the weekend.

Apart from aiding his team’s rise on the table, Aruna remains the most successful player so far with TTC after recording his seventh victory in the league.

Being the third win in a row for TTC, it was the effort of the Nigerian that gave TTC a 3-1 win over their host – TTC Drawbridge Grenzau at the weekend.

Aruna’s teammate Fan Bo Meng started the campaign for TTC against Greek Ioannis Sgouropoulos but the youngster could not withstand his bulky opponent who gave the hosts a 1-0 lead with a 3-1 (11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5).

However it took Aruna less than 15 minutes to restore parity for TTC with a convincing 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-4) win over Belgian Robin Devos.

TTC extended their lead with German international Ruwen Filus coming from behind to beat veteran Croat Aleksandar Karakasevic 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).

In order not to force the tie into doubles decider, the onus rested on Aruna to rescue TTC and in his usual style, Aruna showed class with his never-say-die attitude despite the dominance of Sgouropoulos in the first and third game.

When it was 2-2 (9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7), players from the two teams were already warming up for the doubles’ decider especially when Aruna was trailing his opponent 4-8.

But the Nigerian turned things around, picking the next four points to put the tie at 8-8. And even when his opponent needed only one point to end the match, Aruna fought well and he was rewarded for his efforts with a 12-10 win to record a 3-2 win over Sgouropoulos, which earned TTC an overall 3-1 win.

Even Coach Colin Heow of TTC Drawbridge Grenzau admitted that it was a big setback for his team that is yet to win any game this season: “The defeat is very bitter. The game felt much closer than 1: 3,” said Heow.

But Aruna’s teammate, Filus breathed a sigh of relief when he simply said: “It was a very tight box today. My game and the last one from Aruna stood on the knife edge. I’m very happy that we didn’t have to go into the final doubles and won 3-1.”

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter 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, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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