Richard Ofori

Thank you Table Tennis United

Thank You #TableTennisUnited

The year 2020 started like any other year. A year in which athletes were preparing for the biggest sporting event in the world, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

However, every activity had to be brought to a halt due to the Novel Coronavirus. Associations affiliated with the International Table Tennis Association(ITTF) had to cancel their programs. This brought untold hardship to players and coaches of the sport.

In order to help our communities cope with the new normal #TableTennisUnited decided to intervene with stimulus packages for the Table Tennis community.

As a result we at GH. Table Tennis applied for support from #TableTennisUnited for one of our budding talents, Richard Ofori, who is a junior national Table Tennis player in Ghana who needs support to enable him to reach his fullest potential.

We were pleasantly surprised when we received a response from #TableTennisUnited. They provided training kits, which comprised of canvas, jersey, tracksuit, and rubbers.

A delighted Richard Ofori thanked #TableTennisUnited, and this is what he had to say:

                                  “Thank you #TableTennisUnited for making my dream come true”

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people who provide help to Richard Ofori.

  • Mr. Adolf Awotwe who discovered Richard Ofori and became his coach and trainer.
  • Mr. Elliot Agyare the C.E.O of Smartline Publishing Limited who made it possible for Richard Ofori to use the EMEF’s training centre.
  • Mr. Joseph Amoabeng the mentor of Richard Ofori.
  • The Monday Special crew of Nungua, whom he plays the game with every Monday evening.
 We at GH. Table Tennis would wish to thank #TableTennisUnited for their immense support during this period of hardship and we promise to also do our part to help promote the game.
 
Richard Ofori
Richard Ofori - 2 Ranked U15 player in Ghana
Richard Ofori

Thank you Table Tennis United

Thank You #TableTennisUnited

The year 2020 started like any other year. A year in which athletes were preparing for the biggest sporting event in the world, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

However, every activity had to be brought to a halt due to the Novel Coronavirus. Associations affiliated with the International Table Tennis Association(ITTF) had to cancel their programs. This brought untold hardship to players of the sport.

In order to help our communities cope with the new normal #TableTennisUnited decided to intervene with stimulus packages for the Table Tennis community.

As a result we at GH. Table Tennis applied for support from #TableTennisUnited for one of our budding talents, Richard Ofori, who is a junior national Table Tennis player in Ghana who needs support to enable him to reach his fullest potential.

We were pleasantly surprised when we received a response from #TableTennisUnited. They provided training kits, which comprised of canvas, jersey, tracksuit, and rubbers.

A delighted Richard Ofori thank #TableTennisUnited, and this is what he had to say:

 

“Thank you #TableTennisUnited for making my dream come true”

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people who provide help to Richard Ofori.

  • Mr. Adolf Awotwe who discovered Richard Ofori and became his coach and trainer.
  • Mr. Elliot Agyare the C.E.O of Smartline Publishing Limited who made it possible for Richard Ofori to use the EMEF’s training centre.
  • Mr. Joseph Amoabeng the mentor of Richard Ofori.
  • The Monday Special crew of Nungua, whom he plays the game with every Monday evening.
 We at GH. Table Tennis would wish to thank #TableTennisUnited for their immense support during this period of hardship and we promise to also do our part to help promote the game.
Richard Ofori
Richard Ofori - 2 Rank U15 player in Ghan

Felix Lartey wins LYTTC Gaint Round Robin September Table Tennis Opens(U2500 RR-Playoff)

Felix Lartey dominates in the USA

Felix Lartey - 3 Time SWAG Table Tennis Award Winner

Ghana’s 3 time SWAG Table Tennis award winner dominates in Westchester, United States of America, where he is currently on a training tour.

Felix Lartey won the September LYTTC Giant RR September Open in the U2500 rating. The LYTTC Giant RR tournament is a USATT Sanctioned tournament which was played in the under 1900 and over 1900 category, with the winners taking home USD 200.00 and USD 500 respectively.

Felix Lartey a member of the black loopers competed in the over 1900 category which had thirty four (34) registered players. The players where categorised into four (4) groups, with each group comprising of 8 players. Felix Lartey was in Group 1 which had the likes of Alex Averin, Kelly Liang, Ainish Dassarma, Suman Saurabh, Steve Hopkins, Preston Stecklein, Gaelan Mullins and Rafi Hosein.

With his abled coach, a former black looper Courage Nenevi in his corner, Felix won all seven matches in the group stage, to qualify for the top 16 stage where he played and beat Lucy Leing. Richard Dewitt was his opponent in the quarter final stage whom he defeated to advance into the semi final. 

 

Jayden Zhou a Chinese American was his opponent in the semi final stage. Jayden is a highly rated junior player who plays for the junior national Table Tennis team of the USA. The budding talent was no match for the vastly experienced Felix Lartey, the match ended in three games to zero (3 – 0) in favour of Felix Lartey.

The final game was one, which was won, based on the desire and determination from Felix to be a champion of the tournament. Gregg Bartz a former USA Table Tennis national player was the player who stood between him and victory.

The determination of Gregg was evident from the start of the match, he led by two games to one (2 – 1) and needing only a game to win the tournament, which was a best of five encounter. However Felix had other ideas he fought in the fourth game to level the match at two games all. 

With Gregg ruining his missed opportunity, Felix dominated in the fifth and final game to win the September edition of the LYTTC Giant RR USA Sanctioned open tournament.

He was rewarded with a huge trophy and congratulatory words from Mr. William Shortz of Westchester, who was pleased with his performance and edged him to train even harder for the upcoming tournaments.

A delighted Felix Lartey thanked the Ghana Immigration Service where he works for the opportunity given, he also thanked the Westchester Table Tennis Centre for allowing him to undertake his training tour with them and finally to the Ghana Table Tennis Association for making the training tour possible. 

From us at GH. Table Tennis we say “AYIKOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Aruna Quadri’s uncommon qualities stand him out, says Oshodi

Aruna Quadri’s uncommon qualities stand him out, says Oshodi

Wahid Enitan Oshodi and Aruna Quadri

For more than 15 years, Wahid Enitan Oshodi has been supporting Aruna Quadri in his quest to be among the top table tennis players in the world. Oshodi, a former President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Chairman of ITTF Nomination Committee believes upcoming athletes need to take a cue from Quadri who has remained humble despite his rising profile.

How did you meet Aruna Quadri?

I met Aruna at the Abeokuta 2006 National Sports Festival. I was Chairman of Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA) then. It was a festival which allowed Professional athletes compete and in the table tennis event the Legend himself Segun Toriola was captaining a star filled Ogun State team including Bode Kayode, Lanre Aremu and Kazeem Makanjuola who had been members of the Lagos team but decamped to the host state Ogun. Having lost many players we took a young team made up of secondary school students from Lagos to gain experience. But the cynosure of all eyes was the very young mostly unknown boys’ team from Oyo State. They had a fantastic Coach and played with such skill and determination but lost the men’s finals narrowly with Toriola’s experience coming to the fore. Aruna Quadri was one of the young boys and I introduced myself to them and started inviting them to Lagos to play in tournaments and train with our Coaches.

What attracted you to him?

I think it was the fact that he was so very humble and he seemed so determined to do well. He wanted to move to Lagos to further his education at University of Lagos and this was a bit unusual for most table tennis players who just wanted to earn some money. His humility and the respect he showed to everyone around was so good to see. I remember even my coaches grumbled a bit about us helping him because he was not from Lagos and couldn’t represent us but I wanted the best players playing in my events and so I helped in ensuring he moved to Lagos for school and to help develop his game. At that time we had tournaments fortnightly and we brought the best players from all over Nigeria and even those who were abroad joined in when they came home for holidays.

What makes Quadri a unique athlete?

Humility and the hunger to be the best. Most top athletes have these qualities but in Quadri I found a player who had an extraordinary amount of belief that he would make it to the top and become a national team player.  Every time he lost in our events he came back stronger. Always willing to put in the work to learn and better himself across all spheres. Table tennis, school and life. He just wanted to keep improving. He always wanted to know how he could improve himself. He always bounced back from every setback and never got carried away with his success. He was not the most talented athlete of his age group but he was the most determined. Nigeria has so many vastly talented and gifted athletes but most of them just can’t couple the necessary hard work and discipline to take them to the top of their sport. Quadri has a bucket-full of those important qualities.

How will you describe the rise of Quadri from obscurity to fame?

For a player who was not such a great junior player his latter development was outstanding. He wanted to go on the Professional tour and needed a bit of help with the costs but I didn’t think he was that good then but a couple of people prevailed on me and I got a group of friends and table tennis lovers together who helped him. His first few trips ended in him getting beaten soundly but he would come back home very sad but very determined to do better and soon enough even I started seeing the improvements and the qualities that have made him a great champion now. In my first interview when I became President of NTTF I told the journalists that Quadri then ranked 500+ in the world would be a top 200 player within three years. Twelve months later he was in the top 100. Pure hard work and the support of his major sponsors Baba Ijebu Sports Bet also helped greatly. Then he moved to Portugal and with better coaching and facilities his improvement defensively and powerful attack shocked the table tennis world. The most powerful forehand in the modern game drove him to African cups, Portuguese titles, World Cup quarter finals, Professional tour titles and his performances at Rio 2016 beating Timo Boll, probably the greatest player outside China, set him aside as a superstar. His Powerful attacking style of play has endeared him to table tennis fans all over the world. We have had great table tennis players Like Atanda (Mansa) Musa, Kasali Lasisi, Segun Toriola and many more but Quadri seems to have taken the best attributes of these great players. Musa and Kasali’s exciting entertaining styles coupled Toriola’s hard work and discipline. He always wants to learn from the best. The reaction he gets from crowds and the way he lights up venues all over the world is such a delight to see. That’s what has made him the modern day sports and entertaining superstar he is. In 2019 Watching Quadri at the Teslim Balogun Stadium when he defended his Nigeria Open title before the fanatical Lagos crowd was one of the greatest spectacles of modern day sport in Nigeria. To be a top 20 ranked player in a sport like table tennis dominated by Asians and Europeans is no mean feat.  He is a pride to Nigeria and Africa. Our country needs to show more pride in him.

How far do you think Quadri will go?

I believe Quadri is a top 10 player. He is one of the few players in the world who has the class to win a World or Olympic title. If he has a good run in any tournament he could win it. He just needs to focus properly and he can do it as he has shown. He is capable of beating anybody in the world and he is now proving that consistently. The top players are always nervous because of his relentlessly powerful forehand and now that he has added a great defence and reliable backhand to his game I think we would soon see him in the top 10. His move to Germany, the premier league of world table tennis will also ensure he continues to progress. More sponsors are now making overtures to him and the financial stability that comes with being a top player will also help him keep his focus. Quadri is already a table tennis great but more importantly his performances are opening doors for a lot of talented young gifted Nigerian and African players. Professional table tennis is now a career choice for many due to his achievements.

What lessons can others learn from his story?

There is no shortcut to lasting success. Patience, hard work, discipline and respect for your sport and your body allied to talent will lead to the top. Quadri is at the top of world table tennis now coming a long way from Oyo. It is because he had managed to stay true to those simple qualities. Bouncing back every time you fail and keeping your focus on the prize is the way to success.

SOURCE : Nigerian Table Tennis Federation

TTC tips Aruna as top five performers in German Bundesliga

TTC tips Aruna in top five performers in German Bundesliga

Aruna Quadri

Having scanned through the records Quadri Aruna had set in the last six years, the President of TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell (TTC) Stefan Frauenholz could not but tipped the Nigerian to be among the top five performers in the 2020/2021 Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) season. 

Quadri who replaced departed TTC top performer Croat Tomislav Pucar, is hoping to lead the team to top four target set by the management of the team. 

The newcomer will “be among the five best Bundesliga players. In Fulda, however, Aruna also has big footsteps to fill in. After all, Tomislav Pucar left the TTC for Russia after two extremely successful years,” Frauenholz said. 

This weekend on Sunday September 6, Aruna will lead TTC away to TSV Bad Königshofen who will be playing without their performers following COVID-19 scare in the team. 

TSV Bad Königshofen started as a contender for the play-offs last season but they were unfortunate to finish in ninth place.

For the new season, the squad seems to be a bit weaker than last year, at least on paper following the exit Japanese Mizuki Oikawa, a top performer from previous years. 

With the signing of Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou, a former player with TTC Neu-Ulm last season, the club believes Salifou is a good match for Bad Königshofen, as his new teammate Bastian Steger had already explained when he introduced the Frenchman. 

“He’s a fighter with a great attitude who never loses a sentence. Our viewers will like that, especially since he has a very attractive style of play and an extremely strong forehand. ” 

However, the team will depend all the more on Kilian Ort’s fitness level as the 24-year-old was forced to watch for a long time last season Final placement of Bad Königshofen. 

Bad Königshofen will continue to be led by Bastian Steger, who at 39 years of age is still guaranteed points. 

Aruna’s arrival attracted interest in Germany – TTBL

Aruna’s arrival attracted interest in Germany – TTBL
Aruna Quadri

The organisers of the elite table tennis league in Germany, Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) have said that the arrival of Aruna Quadri has increased interest in the league by Germans. 

The Nigerian will be making his debut on Sunday September 6 for his club – TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell away to TSV Bad Königshofen and there have been excitement in Germany over Quadri’s arrival. 

According to the spokesperson of TTBL, Patrick Wichmann, Quadri’s transfer has attracted the attention of table tennis fans in Germany. 

“We are very happy to have Quadri in the TTBL. As a league, we have felt the national interest that the transfer has attracted, but of course also the international media response. Quadri is a worldwide table tennis brand. Therefore we are very happy to have him in the TTBL and are looking forward to his debut on Sunday September. In TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell he had to replace Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, who played two seasons with the team. Now it will be exciting to see how fast Quadri gets used to the level in the strongest league in Europe,” Wichmann said. 

Also in the preview of the league kick-off this weekend, TTBL described Quadri as an exciting player that Germans are looking forward to watching him play against the best in the league. 

“The fact that the TTBL is considered the strongest league in Europe is due to the numerous top stars who appear at the tables year after year. The fans can look forward to one or the other new face in the new season. One of the most exciting transfers was made by the TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell, which ranks 20th in the world with Quadri Aruna. The Nigerian will appear for the first time in the TTBL and should compensate for the departure of Tomislav Pucar,” the statement said. 

I’m ready for new challenge in Germany, says Aruna Quadri

I’m ready for new challenge in Germany, says Aruna Quadri

Aruna Quadri

The clock has started clicking for Aruna Quadri as the Nigerian is eagerly looking forward to joining the elite players in the world for the 2020/2021 German Table Tennis Bundesliga League.

After more that a decade plying his trade in the Portuguese League where he has established himself as the number one player, Quadri will on September starts a new chapter in his illustrious career when he donned the colours of TC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell in the German Bundesliga.

“For years many people are aware that the German league is the toughest and strongest in Europe and for myself I have no doubt about that. I am fully aware of what I am going to be facing with the start of season 2020/21.

“The Portuguese league is entirely different from the German league, there is an enormous difference regarding the level. For me, the German league is of the highest level, while the Portuguese league is a normal one, but not too bad. The German Bundesliga has several players rated top 100 or even top 10 in the world. For this reason, the level is high and the competition is tough,” he said.

To bolster the team ahead of the new season, the management of Quadri’s club has signed Hong Kong number three Lam Siu Hang.

President TC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell

The central German-based team will be relying on Quadri to spearhead the squad which also has German international Ruwen Filus and German youth international Fan Bo Meng.

The Nigerian added that he is familiar with his teammates at his new club, when he said: “Yes, of course! During the world tours I used to practice with Ruwen Filus for a while, he is a great player and one of the best defenders in the world. I also met Fan Bo Meng on world tours, he has lots of talent. I am certain we will all become a great family in the TTBL.

“Just like every other team we want to be the champion. My goal is to be a great ambassador for my team in the league and to always give 100% for my performance,” the Oyo State-born athlete said.

Earlier this year, Quadri signed for TC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell and he will be the only African competing in the German elite league this year after Egypt’s Omar Assar quit Borussia Dusseldorf to move to France.

Source : Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

Liu Guoliang

Ex-World, Olympic Champion to chair WTT

Ex-World, Olympic Champion to chair WTT

Liu Guoliang
Liu Guoliang - Chair WTT

To take overall leadership and responsibility in pioneering the future of table tennis,  Liu Guoliang, President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) has been named as the chair of the newly formed World Table Tennis (WTT) Council.

Putting players and fans at the very heart of its mission, WTT was set up by the ITTF in August 2019, a milestone in the professionalisation reforms of the sport, to modernise its commercial business activities and realise the full potential of table tennis in order to compete and excel among the highest-profile sports in the world. 

The WTT Council will ensure the healthy development of WTT and be at the helm of the future development of the sport. Therefore, a true leader in the industry is needed to take on the position and direct the journey towards a brighter future.  

Liu Guoliang is an extremely well-respected leader within the global table tennis community, demonstrating the perfect calibre and richest of career achievements. Following a stellar playing career, in which he won gold medals at the Olympics and World Table Tennis Championships, Liu Guoliang has since overseen serial success as the head coach of the Chinese National Team and as the President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA), the world’s most successful table tennis association.  

WTT is highly honoured to welcome Liu Guoliang as Chair of the WTT Council. We believe that, by following his direction, the global table tennis community will strive for a common goal, driving the WTT Council as well as our sport to the next level.  

 A delighted Guoliang said: “Table tennis has enriched my life in so many ways and I have dedicated my life to this sport over many years. Therefore, I am immensely proud and honoured to have the opportunity to direct the WTT Council and help to make table tennis one of the leading sports in the world.”

For the WTT Board Member & ITTF Deputy President, Khalil Al-Mohannadi, the Chinese legend would raise the fortune of table tennis.

 

“Liu Guoliang is an undisputed table tennis legend for what he has achieved both as a player, a coach and as President of the world’s leading national association, China. We are delighted to be welcoming him on board as Chair of the WTT Council. His CV speaks for itself and we firmly believe that he is the perfect man to help deliver success to WTT and to table tennis for many years to come.”

WTT Board Member & ITTF CEO, Steve Dainton, believes Guoliang’s experience as player, coach and administrator would be helpful to drive WTT.

“For the success of WTT and table tennis as a whole, it is imperative that we have people of the highest order actively involved in shaping the future of our sport. The fact that Liu Guoliang is the most influential figure in table tennis, not only in China but around the globe, position him perfectly as Chair of the WTT Council. We certainly hope to take advantage of his reputation and influence for the global promotion of table tennis, making it especially appealing for the younger generations. The whole sports industry is in the shadow of the pandemic and we place our hope in Liu Guoliang to spark the future of our sport. This appointment is fantastic news for the entire table tennis family,” Dainton said.

Source : ATTF

Quadri joins ITTF campaigns against COVID-19

Quadri joins ITTF campaigns against COVID-19

Aruna Quadri - 2019 ITTF Seamaster Nigerian Open Champion

Aruna Quadri has joined the list of ambassadors selected by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the global campaign tagged #TableTennisUnited against the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement issued by the world table tennis ruling body, “#TableTennisUnited is aimed at raising fund to support the athletes, coaches, umpires, national associations and field projects who are all in need of a helping hand in these difficult times necessitated by COVID-19.  #TableTennisUnited is a show of defiant solidarity in the face of a COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the sport and any donations that you can spare will be hugely appreciated by the whole table tennis family.

To give  voice to the campaign, a social media campaign #PassTheBall sees selected ambassadors including Quadri recording special messages to call for support for the fundraiser campaign while holding on to the ball, before passing the ball on to the next person. 

The compilation video of all the ambassadors’ messages is visible on all ITTF and ITTF Foundation social platforms for the launch of the campaign:

According to ITTF, the donation campaign is powered by the ITTF Foundation and supported by ITTF and World Table Tennis (WTT), the new commercial and events vehicle of the ITTF, who together have committed to donate more than $250,000 to the cause.

Each of the three entities is taking a stand and offering support in different ways. Since the athletes are at the heart of everything that WTT stands for, it is fully committed to supporting them throughout this challenging time.

Aside Quadri, two of the leading names on the professional scene, former world no.1 player Timo Boll of Germany and three-time world champion Ding Ning of China are two of the ambassadors that are leading the campaign.

Source : ATTF

2020 Nigeria Open canceled, LOC plans alternate tournament

2020 Nigeria Open

Aruna Quadri - 2019 ITTF Seamaster Nigerian Open Champion

The global pandemic, COVID-19 has forced the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to cancel the 2020 edition of the Challenge Plus Nigeria Open scheduled for August 18 to 22, 2020.

The tournament which is Africa’s elite tournament has attracted top global stars from the world’s top 200 players and the LOC has decided to cancel the tournament this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that has ravaged the globe.

According to the Chairman of the LOC, Wahid Oshodi, it is pertinent to be realistic about what is presently happening globally and that is why we have decided to cancel the tournament this year because nobody knows when the pandemic would disappear. He stated that the athletes’ health is always our main priority because they are the main actors. We also have to think about the safety and health of the  large numbers Of fans that throng the stadium to watch the event. 

“We are pained that we have to cancel the tournament this year because all plans were in place to stage a befitting tournament while our sponsors are also looking forward to an exciting tournament considering what we witnessed in 2019. But we are constrained by this pandemic to cancel this year’s edition and we are looking forward to being part of the new World Table Tennis (WTT) series in 2021,” he said.

NOSKOVA Yana - First Place and VIVARELI Debora Second Place

However, there are plans by the LOC, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) to stage a special invitational tournament toward the end of the year with top players across the world expected to grace the tournament.

Source : LOC NIGERIA OPEN