Aruna Quadri born in Oyo, Nigeria, on 9 August 1988 is a Nigerian table tennis player , He is the only African to make it to the quarter-final of the World Cup and Olympic Games. He is currently 26 in ITTF ranking.
On his way to the quarterfinals, the charismatic Nigerian beat world number 27 Kenta MATSUDAIRA (JPN), world number 37 Alexander SHIBAEV (RUS) and world number 16 TANG Peng (HKG) to announce himself as a force to reckoned with on the world stage. Year 2015 saw yet another great achievement for Quadri as he won the ITTF’s Star Male player of the year award.
Because of his pleasant smile face and never give up attitude he is always the player to lookout for. Sportsflu had a chance to have a interview with this young ambassador of table tennis sports to dive deep into this sportsperson life. So here is the interview with Aruna Quadri:
Sportsflu: Tell us your inspiration about picking up Table tennis as a sport? If not table tennis than what and why?
Aruna Quadri: I actually started doing athletics and I was good in sprint event but there was a table tennis board in my home town in Oyo town in Oyo State, Nigeria. I was introduced to table tennis by Mr. Abolarinwa who took interest in me and he started encouraging and that was how I started playing the game. I would have loved athletics if I did not play table tennis.
Sportsflu: Who is your inspiration/ whom do you aspire to become like looking at the players in the past two decades?
Aruna Quadri: I was too young when Atanda Musa was playing but I watched Segun Toriola and his performance really inspired me to take up the sport seriously. I was looking up to Toriola because we play same style and he has been an inspiration to a lot of Nigerian players. At his age, he is still playing good table tennis.
Sportsflu: Describe us your Biggest achievement so far which you are proud of yourself.
Aruna Quadri: Winning double awards at the 2014 ITTF Star Awards after being named Star Player of the Year and Star Point of the Year which no player in the world has achieved was my proudest moment and making it to the quarterfinal of the Olympic Games in Rio as well as winning the 2017 Polish Open was another moment I would cherish in my career.
Sportsflu: What is your daily routine on & off training days ?
Aruna Quadri: I used to wake up by 8am to prepare for training at 9am. I train everyday for at least five hours a day and if we have major competitions for my team, I increase my training schedule. I eat well and ensure I jog at least two hours thrice a week.
Sportsflu: Who according to you is the toughest player ever to beat and why?
Aruna Quadri: Every player is tough and you just have to be at your best in any tournament because you are the target of every player. I don’t look down at any player.
Sportsflu: What are those few areas which ITTF must need to work upon to make International Table Tennis reach new heights ?
Aruna Quadri: Ensuring that players is their focus, particularly players from less developed nations need support.
Sportsflu: How do you cope with a loss in a crucial match.
Aruna Quadri: Every loss is a lesson to me and I take it in good faith and redouble my efforts.
Sportsflu: You’ve been on many tours and series abroad with other table tennis players. Do you recall any funny moment which happened within team and can’t stop laughing about it even now.
Aruna Quadri: That was when we won Bronze medal in the team event of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and my teammate – Ojo Onaolapo had to pull off his short after the victory over India in the third place match.
Sportsflu: Your favourite table tennis players in men’s and women’s category ?
Aruna Quadri: MA LONG and DANIELA MONTEIRO
Sportsflu: Your favorite cuisine/food and place to travel??
Aruna Quadri: I love Nigeria typical food AMALA and EFO RIRO(VEGETABLE SOUP)
Sportsflu: A piece of advice for the Sportsflu’s young audience who aspires to become a Table tennis player like you.
Aruna Quadri: Believe in yourself and continue to work hard and trust God to crown your efforts.