From his campaigns in the main draw of the men’s singles of the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open, the Lagos fans got behind Aruna Quadri with most of them shouting and haling the home star. Some of the fans were kitted in an Aruna Quadri’s inscribed shirt and from there, the Portugal-based star never let them down. From his first round match against Italy’s Amato Antonio, he was merciless beating the younger Italian 4-0 to the delight of the fans.
When he was set up against Egypt’s Khaled Assar, he was a bit nervous but he waded his way against the Egyptian with another 4-1 convincing win. Even when the fans saw the way Romania’s Sipos Rares dealt with Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali, the fans were a bit worried knowing fully well that the Romanian youngster will battle Aruna Quadri in the quarterfinal round. But to live up to their expectations, Aruna Quadri mesmerized the Romanian with a 4-0 win to berth in the semifinal. The semifinal went same way like the quarterfinal as Aruna Quadri humbled Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon 4-0 to make his second appearances in the final of the tournament.
The final had all the elements, as the fans of Aruna Quadri tripled with the venue filled to the extent that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) had to prevent fans from gaining entrance again in order not to overstretched the facility. Pitched against France’s Antoine Hachard, Aruna Quadri raise the bar with a hard-fought 4-2 win over the enterprising Frenchman. Speaking after the delightful triumph, Aruna Quadri could not but appreciate the fans and then decided to dedicate the victory to them.
“I trained very hard before the tournament to ensure that I didn’t disappoint my fans. It would have been annoying and disappointing if I failed my fans that have come from far and wide to support me during this tournament. And you can see their attitude all through the match. They did not relent in their effort to spur me even when I lost points, they kept supporting me and that means a lot to me. With all the support that I got today from the fans, this title is for them because they kept on supporting me all through.”
“It means it is God that has made this victory possible not because that I am better. It is because God just favoured me and today I am very happy that I did not disappoint them. This year, I have played already in three finals, and I lost two, that is the African final, and the Commonwealth Games, but tonight which is the third final, I am happy that I finally won a final match. Antoine Hachard is a very good player,” Aruna Quadri said. In 2015, Quadri lost to Omar Assar of Egypt in the final and in 2017, he was bundled out in round of 16 by compatriot – Bode Abiodun.