–Nigerian star begins campaign for honour
Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has been seeded number five at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged Belgium Open and the African champion is expected to begin his campaign on Thursday from the main draw (round of 64) of the championship, which served off on Wednesday with the preliminary round.
In the seeding list released by the organisers, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who is world’s number four is seeded number one, while Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov is rated number two.
Quadri’s victim at the last Czech Open, Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia rated 23 in the world is seeded number three and Italy’s Mihai Bobocica is number four seeded players.
Quadri is expected to tackle one of the qualifiers on table nine and the Portugal-based player has said that he hopes to reenact the performance he put up at the Czech Open.
“It is true that I have been seeded at the Belgium Open but for me I like playing from group stage because it makes me adapt easily to the tournament venue and I get warmed fully before the main draw event.
However, playing from the main draw as my first match is great but I really don’t see it as very important. I am so happy to be among the seeded players in the midst of top stars like Germany’s Ovtcharov, Belarus’ Samsonov and Portugal’s Tiago. My main objective is to surpass my past performances in world tour and I believe God will crown my efforts,” he said.
Quadri added that he is suing the tournament as build up to next month’s World Cup in Germany, which he said he hopes to do well.
He said: “I think I am going to be fully ready for the World Cup as this tour is part of my build up. I featured in Czech Open where I got to quarterfinal and it shows some improvement because I lost in round of 16 at the Spanish Open but in Czech Open I moved one more step in my career. Also, Belgium Open is part of my preparation and after this I will take part in the Portuguese Super Cup. In my club, I will also be playing matches against some tough teams in the league and I think all these are enough for me to get set for the big world event next month.