By Jacob Ajom
It was a swell time for Table Tennis fans at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere yesterday when local idols, Aruna Quadri, Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike won their matches at the ongoing ITT Challenge Nigeria Open.
The fans cheered endlessly after Quadri dismissed 19-year old Amato Antonino 11-7, 14-12, 11-6 and 11-5.
Aruna’s opponent said, after the match, “I am proud to have played against a champion like Aruna Quadri. I loved the challenge and hope for better days ahead. Amato said he would now focus on the U-21 category and hopes he could perform better against his peers.
On his part, African legend, Segun Toriola was at his best when he had to dig deep to overcome Xinyang Wang of China. He came from losing the first set win 4-2 It was a match the 7-time Olympic Games athlete confessed was tough. “You know it’s always tough playing against the Chinese. But as luck would have it I won.
“My target is to continue playing and hopefully I will get something out of it.”
Toriola later explained why he is participating in the tournament. “I want to go to the 2020 Olympics. That is why I have continued to keep myself in shape. I want to go to my 8th Olympics. That is my target.”
Earlier, Funke Oshonaike defeated her Mauritian opponent 11.9, 11-6, 11-4 and 11-4 to move to the next round.