Nigeria’s only medal hope in the men’s table tennis singles event of the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympic Games, joyful Quadri Aruna, says reaching the quarter-finals had helped him to rediscover himself.
Aruna told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Rio that the Games had been an eye opener and it has improved his skill the more.
He told NAN that since the Games commenced, his confidence level had increased tremendously such that it had helped him so far.
“I must confess that it has been the Lord’s doing so far.
“The Aruna playing now is not the one before the Games. So, many things have changed in my body system and my style of play.
“My confidence has shot up so much and this is what is helping me; also I am playing with an open mind because I need to play all matches with a mind free of worries.
“I am appreciative of the support I am getting and I am counting on God to help me in the remaining matches,’’ Aruna said.
Aruna, Africa’s pride at the ongoing Games in Brazil, has maintained a remarkable performance, maintaining a winning streak and putting Africa on the spotlight.
He made another history in global table tennis defeating world No. 14, Germany’s Timo Boll 4-2 in the fourth round of the men’s singles in Rio.
Prior to Monday’s game, Nigeria’s Aruna was at par with Segun Toriola who made it to the fourth round at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China.
Aruna became the first African and black man to play in the quarterfinal stage of the table tennis event at Olympic Games.
It will be recalled that he set a record in 2014 when he became the first African and black man to play in the quarter-finals of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Cup.
Also in 2015, he became the first non-Asian and African to win the ITTF Star Player Award.