Africa’s highest ranked player in the world, Aruna Quadri, said that he would not be focusing only on Egypt’s Omar Assar when the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup serves off in Agadir, Morocco on Saturday.
According to him, there are more threats to his dream than just focusing solely on the Egyptian.
Also, Italy-based Olajide Omotayo has replaced Segun Toriola as the second Nigerian campaigning alongside Aruna Quadri in the men’s singles event while Olufunke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong will hoist Nigeria’s flag in the women’s singles event of the competition.
Quadri, who has been listed among the foreign legion competing at the maiden Ultimate Table Tennis Championships in India and at the moment representing Egypt’s Al Ahly in the ongoing African Club Championships, believes he has more competitors than Assar to battle against in the Africa Cup.
“ITTF Africa Cup is another challenge that I am looking forward to and I am preparing very well for it.
“I know it is not going to be easy and I know it is very possible to win again in Morocco having won my first continental title in 2009 in same Morocco.
“Since I have finished with my club in the French league, I have enough time to prepare well in training.
“I am training now more than before and I believe it is going to be a very fantastic tournament. I am eagerly looking forward to give my best and represent Nigeria very well,” the 2016 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup winner said.
Continuing, he remarked: “The greatest threat to my ambition in Morocco is not only Omar Assar because there is always quarterfinal, semi final and final.
“I think all the Egyptian players constitute threats to my ambition in Morocco and I am going to look forward to match after match,” Aruna Quadri explained.
“All these players are very important to me and giving all the attention to Omar Assar alone will not allow me to focus on other players. I must remain focus and consider other participants as well.
“This is more important to me as I am getting ready for all the participants in the competition,” he added.
It would be recalled that it was in Rabat, Morocco in 2009 that Aruna Quadri claimed his first continental title to make his debut at the ITTF World Cup in Moscow, Russia.
But his second return to the North African nation was not a smooth ride when he narrowly lost the men’s singles title to Egypt’s Omar Assar in the final of the 2016 ITTF African Championship.