Aruna Quadri has defeated Egypt’s Omar Assar to clinch his second continental title in the men’s singles of the 2022 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African championship, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
The 34-year-old Nigerian came back from two sets down to brush off his fierce rival and register a 4-3 win in a nerve-wracking match which took place on Friday in Algiers, Algeria.
After taking the first two sets, Assar was already leading 3-1 in the third set. But the Nigerian’s tenacity and prowess came to the fore as he fought back to level at 3-3 and was leading in the final game for the tie to go into 12-12.
Good shots from the Nigerian were all he needed to conquer the Egyptian and claim his first continental title since 2018. Aruna won 4-3 (8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 14-12)
An elated Aruna described the tie as energy-sapping while he lauded his opponent for a magnificent display.
“I think I gave my all and even when I was down, I did not give up. I think I just stayed focused and this worked out for me and I am happy that my efforts in Algiers paid off for me,” he said.
This win will surely shore up Aruna’s ranking in the world while Taiwo Mati, the young Nigerian who made it to the semi-final, should also see an immense improvement in his global ranking.