History was made yesterday when fast rising Nigerian athlete Aruna Quadri was announced as the International Table Tennis federation player of the year. This makes him the first African to clinch the award; and the highest ever ranking for an African player. (continues below... )
Aruna Quadri beat strong opponents including Youth Olympic champion, Fan Zhendong, world’s No.1 Xu Xin, plus European Team championships gold medalist, Marcos Freitas of Portugal.
"This is the best day of my career and I want to thank the organizers for considering me for this. I also want to thank all my fans all over the world for their support because this is unbelievable for me and I promise to continue to work hard". Quardri stated.
Other awardees include: Ling Dong, 2014 ITTF world cup winner, who won women’s player of the year, Pedro Rufino who won coach of the year, Spain’s Alvaro Valera won Men’s para table tennis player, and Croatia’s Sandra Paovic won women’s para table tennis player of the year.
The star studded ceremony took place at the ultra-prestigious Armani hotel at Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
26-year old, Oyo state Nigeria born Aruna Quadri has risen steadily up the Table Tennis ranks in a little over 2 years. He competed for Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he defeated a Spanish player before being defeated, and also at the World Cup 2014, where he reached the quarter finals in the Men's Singles.