Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri became the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games table tennis event on Monday after beating London 2012 bronze medalist Germany’s Timo Boll 4-2 in the fourth round of the men’s singles.
The 28-year-old defeated the world number 13 in 16 minutes as he won his third game in Rio, to send Brazilian fans, who kept chanting ‘Nigeria’, into rapturous celebrations.
Quadri, who is attending his second Olympics, defeated Boll 12-10 in the first set before taking the second and third sets 12-10, 11-5. Boll regrouped and won the next two sets 11-3, 11-5 but the Nigerian, who is currently ranked 40, took the sixth set 11-9.
The 2014 ITTF Star Player of the Year had earlier in the third round defeated world number seven, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Chun-Yuan, to book a place against Boll. He will play winner of China’s Ma Long and Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik match.
Team Nigeria’s assistant captain, Funke Oshonaike, hailed Quadri for his heroic performance against the German.
Another history in Rio
Reviewed by Sunday Owowo