Nigeria’s Aruna Beat Lee Sang To Reach Second Round At Saudi Smash

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Following his first-round win, Aruna faced Lee Sang Su of South Korea in a thrilling second-round encounter as the world-ranked 19th Nigerian dominated the early stages, winning the first two games 11-9 each.

Quadri Aruna continues his impressive run at the WTT Saudi Smash, securing another victory in the men’s singles.

Following his first-round win, Aruna faced Lee Sang Su of South Korea in a thrilling second-round encounter as the world-ranked 19th Nigerian dominated the early stages, winning the first two games 11-9 each.

Nigeria’s flagbearers at the 2024 ITTF African Cup and Olympics Qualification Tournament taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 12 to 18.

However, Lee Sang Su launched a fierce comeback, taking the third and fourth games 9-11 and 7-11 to force a deciding game.

The final game was a nail-biting affair, Aruna raced to a 4-1 lead, but Lee Sang Su fought back to tie it at 4-4. Despite Aruna’s powerful shots, the Korean opponent showcased remarkable resilience, even leading 10-8 at one point.

Aruna, the first and only African to reach the quarterfinals at the ITTF World Cup, will battle Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez.

Aruna displayed true championship spirit, clawing his way back point by point. He capitalized on missed shots from his opponent and tied the score at 10-10. Though Lee Sang Su gained another point advantage, Aruna’s unwavering determination shone through. He matched the Korean shot for shot, eventually securing a dramatic 13-11 victory.

With this hard-fought win, Aruna becomes the second player to reach the round of 16, joining Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan.

This year’s NTTF-sanctioned event attracted a record number of participants, with 28 states vying for glory in 14 different categories.

Aruna next challenge will be another Korean opponent, Daeseong Cho, in their match scheduled for Wednesday, May 8th.