Japan spies on Quadri in Belgium


As the host of the 2020 Olympic Games, Japan is doing everything possible to ensure that any player that might stand between them and the titles at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is well studied.

This has confirmed series of enquiries being made by various Japanese media on Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri at the just concluded ITTF World Cup in Belgium.

In the last six months, Quadri had defeated five Japanese who are members of the Japanese national team in his quest to win major matches at the 2017 Bulgaria and Polish Opens.

At the Bulgaria Open, Quadri came from 3-1 down to beat Yuto Kizukuri 4-3 (8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9) in men’s singles second round.

As if that was a tip of the iceberg, Quadri went further to edge out another Japanese star – Asuka Machi  4-1 (11-3, 6-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-6) in the quarterfinal stage.

To be crowned the 2017 Polish Open champion, it was another Japanese sensation – Kaii Yoshida that suffered defeat in the hands of Quadri. In an explosive final at the Polish Open, the Nigerian beat the southpaw Japanese 4-2 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12) to win his first ITTF title outside Africa and the player from the continent achieve such feat.

From electronic media to print, the enquiries about Quadri continued to grow each as NationSport has been bombarded with series of information regarding the Nigerian star.

However, confirming this to NationSport in Liege, Belgium, the Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief of Tokyo-based World Table Tennis Magazine, Noboru Konno said the enquires became necessary as most Japanese are still stunned about the skills and talents being displayed by Aruna Quadri globally.

“I must be sincere with you that most Japanese are still surprised that an African can be that good in table tennis that he commands followership globally.  The only thing most Japanese knew about African athletes is their prowess in football but for an African to be that good to be beating some of the respected Japanese stars is still a misery to them. That is why all these enquiries are vital to them in order to know their possible threat to claim medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,”he said.

Konno, who also conducted an exclusive interview with Quadri in Belgium, said the Nigerian star has become a phenomenon in the sport with his ferocious forehand which most times confused his opponents.