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Oyo State born African Table Tennis Champion, Quadri Aruna, has advanced to the last 16 of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash.

Aruna defeated Alexis Lebrun 3-2 (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7) in the round of 32 in the men’s singles at the Singapore Sports Hub’s OCBC Arena on Tuesday morning.

The French teenager Alexis Lebrun edged out China’s Yuan Licen in the round of 64.

The Nigerian had defeated Germany’s Ruwen Filus, 3-2 (14-12, 6-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-9) in a classic battle between attack and defense in the round of 32.

The deciding game came with all the drama with the German veteran taking a commanding lead at the change of ends. It was then that the tides reversed and fortune went back in the way of the Nigerian superstar.

The win ensured that Aruna roared his way to the round of 32. “It was 5-1 (to him), and then 7-2, and suddenly I won five points in a row.

“That was a very good comeback and I was focusing because six or seven years ago I experienced almost the same situation against him and I knew it was not over until it’s over”, he said.

He will square up against Japan star, Tomokazu Harimoto in the round of 16, as Frenchman Can Akkuzu fell 2-3 (11:8,11:8,3:11,5:11,3:11) in Singapore.

The first African casualty at the Singapore Smash was Egypt’s Omar Assar who was beaten by Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia 3-0 in the round of 64 while his compatriots – Hana Goda and Mariam Alhodaby also tasted defeat against their German and Japanese opponents.

Oyo News reports that Apart from Aruna, the other surviving African in the competition is Dina Meshref of Egypt who edged out home girls with a 3-1 win in the first round.

By oyonews

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