Quadri Aruna

Aruna makes top 15 in seeding list of table tennis

Quadri Aruna
Aruna Quadri - Olympic Qualifier

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Aruna makes top 15 in seeding list of table tennis

Team Nigeria Captain Quadri Aruna has been listed among the top 15 seeded players in the men’s singles of table tennis event at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which kicks on Friday, July 23 in Japan.

Being the highest-rated African in the world, Aruna has been seeded number 15 behind Frenchman Simon Gauzy seeded 14 among the 65 players competing in the men’s singles.

The Nigerian who was considered as one of the star players to watch out for in table tennis by Reuters is hoping to exceed his quarterfinal finish at Rio 2016 in Japan.

Qualified to Tokyo based on his world rating, Aruna will be awaiting his first-round opponent when the draws hold this week with Egypt’s Omar Assar seeded 28 while Aruna’s compatriot- Olajide Omotayo is seeded 49 in the men’s singles.

In the women’s singles, six-time African women champion Egypt’s Dina Meshref has been seeded 19th while Nigeria’s Offiong Edem is seeded 53 among the 70 athletes competing in the women’s singles event.

Seven-time Olympian Olufunke Oshonaike is 60th.

Meanwhile, China’s Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng have been unveiled as the top-seeded entries for the men’s and women’s singles categories.

Making his first appearance on the Olympic stage in Tokyo, Fan Zhendong, 24, is bidding to become the sixth Chinese player to take home men’s singles gold.

Meanwhile, fellow Fan’s compatriot and defending champion Ma Long, who has been named as the number two seed, attempts to recapture the magic of five years ago as he defends his highly sought-after title at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Seeded third, 18-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto is bound to catch the eye as the ever-improving teenager looks to guide Japan to a historic first gold medal in the category.

Also, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju have been named the fourth and fifth seeds in the men’s singles draw, ahead of Sweden’s Mattias Falck, London 2012 bronze medallist Dimitrij Ovtcharov and fellow German icon Timo Boll.

A new women’s singles champion will be crowned in the Japanese capital with all eyes firmly fixed on two Chinese debutants as the country looks to make it nine gold medals in a row.

Making the summit of the list, top seed Chen Meng leads the way with Sun Yingsha occupying the immediate position below on the list.

China also leads the way in both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events with the sporting powerhouse pursuing a fourth-straight gold medal finish in both categories.

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis  Association

Olajide Omotayo

I want to play my best table tennis in Tokyo- Omotayo

Olajide Omotayo
Olajide Omotayo - 2019 African Games African Champion

I want to play my best table tennis in Tokyo- Omotayo

Olajide Omotayo will be making his debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; he is eager to establish himself as one of Africa’s best representatives among the array of stars in Japan.

The Lagos State-born athlete believes knowing his first-round opponent would help him to know his fate in Tokyo.

He, however, said he is excited about being part of Team Nigeria to Tokyo. “I feel happy and at the same very proud of myself for qualifying for my first Olympic Games because I have always wanted to achieve this dream as only God made it possible.

“My winning the African Games gold in 2019 has really boosted my confidence going into the Olympic Games. The win made me realize that the impossible is nothing as nobody saw the performance coming but I knew within me that I am capable of defeating any player in Africa. All I needed was to play freely without thinking about the podium. I did that, it really worked for me in the end.

“My target is to go to Tokyo and play at my best because I know if I play at my best, good results will follow. The advantage of the postponement is that it has afforded me more time to train and work hard for the games,” Omotayo said.

Source: Nigeria Table Tennis  Association