Nigeria’s representative at the 2020 ITTF World Cup, Quadri Aruna will challenge Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic in group three of the first round stage of the championship taking place in Weihai, China.
The tournament is one of the four restart competitions lined-up by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the return of international events following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
International table tennis events have been paused since March 2020 and the restart tournaments include, Women’s World Cup, Men’s World Cup, ITTF Finals and WTT championship scheduled for Macau later this month.
Already, the Women’s World Cup has concluded with China’s Chen Meng emerging as champion in her maiden outing and the Men’s World Cup which has Aruna and Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh as Africa’s representatives kicks off on Friday, November 13 to 15 at Weihai Nanhai Olympic Sport Centre.
The Nigerian will slug it out for a place in the main draw against German Franziska while his final group match will be against the young Slovenian who is considered as one of the emerging stars from Europe.
Quadri Aruna is a bronze medallist at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, and he is seeded no.13 among the 21 players competing in the three-day tournament.
With Aruna’s experience, he is regarded as one of the underdogs of the competition. This will be his sixth World Cup appearance since making his debut in 2009 in Moscow, Russia.
A statement from ITTF highlights Aruna’s prestige in world table tennis as thus: “A regular at world title events, Quadri Aruna is no stranger to pushing the table tennis elite to the limit. Aruna will want to improve his best quarter-final finish of six years ago in Düsseldorf, as he could not go past the round of 16 in last year’s edition. What will the African representative bring to the table in Weihai?”
The top two players in the four groups are expected to advance to the main draw where they will be drawn against the top eight seeds in the main draw of the championship.