“It has been a difficult journey so far to the top,” reveals world No.10 table tennis player, Quadri Aruna.
Having achieved the best ITTF ranking of No.10, Aruna is praying for fewer injuries so he can continue to improve.
Last week, the 33-year-old Nigeria became the first-ever African, Nigerian, and black player to be rated in the top 10 in the world by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
Aruna revealed some sacrifices he has made to continue to rise in the game. These include “several hours of travel, sleepless nights, several hours of hard work, and many injury moments.
“There have been several times of getting defeated and, of course, several positive winnings. In the end, I can say I’m very happy.
“I’m satisfied. I’m fulfilled. But of course, everything is still possible if I’m able to continue in the same way. It is possible to go much further.”
Aruna has represented Nigeria at many tournaments, especially at the Olympic Games for which he has made three trips to London 2012, Rio 2016 and the Tokyo Games which took place in 2021.
He continued, “Just like I said earlier, I work so hard, I travel a lot, I invest my time, money. I have invested so much, going everywhere around the world playing, and on many occasions, playing alone. It has to do with a lot of sacrifices.”
“I was never intimidated against opponents that have coaches. I will just always focus and believe in myself and finally, the hard work paid off,” Aruna revealed.
With No.10 ranking achieved, Aruna believes there are still many more rungs to climb. “The next thing is to keep working, harder and harder and keep believing, or nothing will actually change.
“The process will always be the same with practice, sleep, rest, travel, and play tournaments.
We are always under pressure. We lose, we win-the difference is to keep believing and never quit and to be able to keep working harder and harder.
“There will be bad moments, there will be injuries, sometimes there will be good moments and I hope I can keep going.
And he finished with a prayer, “I hope I have fewer injuries in the future so I can have better results.”