Captain of Team Nigeria Table Tennis, Aruna Quadri, was the latest member of the African contingents to be eliminated from the Tokyo Olympics games.
Aruna, who reached the quarter-finals of the event in Rio in 2016 could not replicate the same in Tokyo as he lost 2-4 in a fiercely contested third round to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.
Africa’s highest-ranked table tennis player, Quadri Aruna now joins fellow compatriot, Funke Oshonaike who first cave in to a relentless display from 449th rank female, Liu Juan of the US, Offiong Edem, and Olajide Omotayo in taking the 13,489 km long- journey back to Nigeria.
Funke lost in four sets 1-4 (7-11 3-11, 4-11, 13-11, 4-11) in the Preliminary Round Results.
Similarly, Olajide Omotayo was beaten by Tiago Apolonia of Portugal in five straights of 0-4 (11-7 11-9 11-6 11-5) in the Men’s preliminary round of the event.
Earlier, Edem Offiong made a bright start to the tournament dispatching her opponent from Hungary, Madarasz Dora in 35mins by 4-1 (11-8 11-9 11-9 9-11 11-4).
She however could not sustain the tempo going into her round 2 match against Zhang Lily of the USA.
The tables were reversed with the American showing her dominance over Effiong.
The 2007 All-Africa Games women’s doubles medalist put in a valiant performance in the first game securing a 15-13 win.
Zhang exhibited good composure to take the second and third games by an 11-2 margin.
Some spirited play from the 35- year-old Nigerian was not enough to rescue the fourth and fifth game as she bowed out of the tournament.