30th January, 2015
For his sportsmanship conduct after his quarterfinal loss to Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali in the men’s singles event of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Senior Championship, the world table tennis governing body, ITTF has described Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri as a perfect example for the game globally.
ITTF Publication Editor, Ian Marshall, said despite the narrow loss to the Egyptian, he exhibited maturity, which he described as an advantage to the sport worldwide.
“I am really thrilled with the way the young Nigeria conducted himself. It is usual with anybody that loses a crucial match to be angry. But despite his close defeat in the men’s singles, he found a place in his heart to hug his opponent in spite of the wild jubilation among the Egyptians. Even this is not even common with the best players in the world. But what Quadri has shown us really says a lot about him as an athlete. This is indeed a plus to table tennis,” Marshall said.
Even some of the Egyptians present during the epic encounter were thrilled by the Nigerian, whom they described as a true champion. Baseem Mohammed said: “I am touched by Quadri’s loss despite being an Egyptian because he played and fought like a true champion. When he lost the first two games, you will never notice in his face that he was losing. He just focused on the match and had to level up to make it 2-2. If it had been other players, they would have given up and get frustrated during the match. But he was calm and was doing as if the game was 0-0. I am happy that it was my compatriot that won, but the manner in which Quadri approached the match showed that he is a good player and a well-cultured individual off the table. Some of us were moved by the way he went ahead and congratulated his opponent and also shook hands with the officials. This is a rare trait of a champion. For me, Quadri is a complete player that should be emulated by upcoming athletes not only in table tennis but in all sports,” the North African said.