Table tennis stakeholders have urged Nigeria’s number one player, Aruna Quadri , to look beyond the setback of crashing out in the opening round at the on-going ITTF World Tour.
The stakeholders, in separate interviews, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Aruna should see it as one of the challenges involved in the sport.
Aruna’s exit from the competition was attributed to his narrow loss to unknown Hungarian, Bence Majoros, in the preliminary round.
After putting the disappointing 2-4 loss to the Hungarian behind him, Quadri restored his pride with a convincing 4-1 win over Czech Republic’s Michal Obeslo.
Unfortunately, the victory could not help him to the knockout stage of the preliminary round.
In his comments, Anderson Bankole, a board member of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), urged Aruna to see the development as a lesson.
He urged him to go back and correct the lapses which made him lose his first match.
“I want him to snap out of this as quickly as possible and face other challenges ahead. This is one of those things an athlete faces.
“A loss doesn’t mean he is not good, or that he didn’t prepare well. It only means he’s still got a lot of work to do on himself.
“I must say that Aruna is a fantastic player and I believe in his abilities. He has done the country and himself proud so many times.
“He is the reason why Nigerian table tennis is being talked about in the last couple of years,’’ Bankole said.
Also, Kazeem Makanjuola, who plies his trade with Marcozzi Table Tennis Club of Italy urged him to put more efforts into his training.
Makanjuola told NAN that table tennis was a game of ups and downs and victory was never guaranteed at all times.
“In sports, you win some and lose some. But I want Aruna to work harder on himself and prevent making same mistakes,’’ he said.
A 14-year old junior player, Abayomi Animashaun, urged Aruna to improve mostly on his backhand, saying this would help him more in attacking.
“This will help him reduce the stress of using forehand all round in a game. I wish him luck next time and as we all know we all need to train harder,’’ he said.
Speaking on his games in Germany, a disappointed Aruna said the second match against Obeslo was better than the first match he lost.
“The first match was a very difficult match, because I knew nothing about my Hungarian opponent. Also, his style of play was strange, with a very strong backhand.
“I hope I can play better in the next tournament I partake in. But it happens like this in sports.
“I am not going to give up, I just have to continue to play and remain focused in training.
“The tournament is a tough one, because the best players in the world are participating,’’ Aruna said.