Nigerian table tennis star, Quadri Aruna will be facing Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania in the first round of the men’s singles category at the 2023 ITTF World Championships Finals in Durban, South Africa.
Other Nigeria’s contingents Bode Abiodun and Taiwo Mati will battle it out with Ruwen Filus of Germany and Lubomir Jancarik of the Czech Republic, respectively, to advance to the round of 64.
In the women’s category, Offiong Edem takes on Zhu Chengzhu, and former African champion Olufunke Oshonaike will go against American Charlotte Lutz.
The 2023 World Championship Finals will commence on May 20 and end on May 28, 2023.
This year’s edition of the World Championship Finals is seen as a turning point in sporting history as it is the first of its kind to be hosted in Africa in 84 years.
After losing at the recently concluded ITTF Africa Cup in Kenya, Quadri, the highest-ranked African player and current No. 12 in the world, is pleased to feature in the forthcoming championship.
“It’s another opportunity and I hope we (Nigerian at the event) make it count this time,” Quadri said after the draw.
“It’s significant that the World Championships are being held here in Africa. It’s a platform to show Africans the sport’s thrill, inspire young players and get more fans. This is a positive step forward towards having more people loving the sport and wanting to be part of it.”
The 34-year-old table tennis star lost the men’s singles championship final in a best-of-seven format to Egypt’s Omar Assar on May 6 at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani indoor Gymnasium.