Few days after missing out from the men’s singles title at the just concluded ITTF Africa Senior Championship in Morocco, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has been nominated among the four short-listed players for the 2016 ITTF Star Awards.
In a statement issued by the world table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Quadri, a fomer winner of the awards in 2014 will jostle for the male awards alongside world and Olympic champion, China’s Ma Long, World Cup Champion, China’s FAN Zhendong as well as Rio Olympic bronze medalist, Japan’s Jun MIZUTANI.
According to ITTF the winners will be crowned at the 2016 ITTF Star Awards in Doha, Qatar on December 8, 2016.
The 2016 ITTF Star Awards, which will be in its fourth edition, will be held at the Doha’s famous and prestigious Sheraton Hotel to celebrate the world’s best table tennis players’ achievements in 2016.
Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA) President & ITTF Deputy President Khalil AL-MOHANNADI stated: “On behalf of QTTA, I am excited to be hosting the celebrations for the world’s best table tennis players in Doha, Qatar. QTTA have very elaborate plans for the 2016 ITTF Star Awards and everyone in attendance and fans around the world watching on TV will surely enjoy the show we have planned to honor the most important people in our sport, the athlete’s and their achievements in 2016”
The nominees for the Male Table Tennis Star presented by DHS, as nominated by the ITTF Athletes’ Commission:
Quadri ARUNA (NGR): First ever African Olympic Games Quarterfinalist. Highest ever world ranked African player at 25 in the world; FAN Zhendong (CHN): 2016 Men’s World Cup champion, 2016 World Team Champion, two 2016 ITTF World Tour Super Series titles; MA Long (CHN): Rio 2016 Olympic Games Singles and Team Champion, 2016 World Team Champion, two 2016 ITTF World Tour Super Series titles and Jun MIZUTANI (JPN): Rio 2016 Olympic Games Singles Bronze Medalist and Team Silver Medalist, 2016 World Team Championships Silver Medalist, three 2016 ITTF World Tour titles.
The nominees Female Table Tennis Star presented by Nittaku, as nominated by the ITTF Athletes’ Commission:
DING Ning (CHN): Rio 2016 Olympic Games Singles and Team Champion, 2016 World Team Champion, two 2016 ITTF World Tour Super Series titles; Miu HIRANO (JPN): 2016 Women’s World Cup Champion, 2016 ITTF World Tour Polish Open Champion; Mima ITO (JPN): Rio 2016 Olympic Games Team Bronze Medalist which made her the Youngest ever table tennis Olympic Medalist, 2016 World Team Championships Silver Medalist and Kim SONG-I (PRK): Rio 2016 Olympic Games SinglesBronzeMedalist, 2016 World Team Championships Bronze Medalist, 2016 ITTF World Tour Pyongyang Open Champion
In addition to the Male and Female Table Tennis Stars, six other awards will be handed in Doha and they are Male Para Table Tennis Star presented by Tinsue, Female Para Table Tennis Star presented by Stag International, Table Tennis Star Coach presented by Butterfly, Table Tennis Star Point presented by Seamaster, Table Tennis Breakthrough Star presented by Monday Club and Table Tennis Fair Play Star.
ITTF Africa celebrates Aruna Quadri’s Rio Olympic feat
For becoming the first player in Africa to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, the executive council of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa has acknowledged the feat of the Nigerian with an award of outstanding performance.
The presentation of the award was performed by the ITTF Africa President, Khaled El-Salhy including Vice President of ITTF, Cherif Hajem.
The ITTF boss said it was coincident that two Nigerians – Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri put Africa on the world map in Rio and for this, the Executive Committee agreed at their meeting that the two players must be acknowledged and honour in order to motivate upcoming players to aim high like them.
“We were overwhelmed with the huge publicity that Africa got in the table tennis event of Rio Olympic Games because of the performance of Aruna Quadri because in the history of table tennis, no African has made it to the last eight of the Olympic Games. Players like Aruna Quadri are very rare and I know his performance was due to his commitment and hardwork which were obvious in his performance. This honour is not just to celebrate him but to also inspire other players to work hard because without hardwork and discipline it will be impossible for any player to make it to the world stage,” he said.
“From his performance at the 2014 World Cup in Germany where he became the first African to make it to the quarterfinal round of the competition to being named the 2014 ITTF Star Player at the Star Award, Aruna Quadri has raised the bar for others to aim at and with his performance of record, more people in the continent are now paying attention to the sport and we hope he will continue to move up and other African players will