After more than six weeks being out with injury, Quadri Aruna announced his return to action at the ongoing inaugural World Table Tennis (WTT) Champions (European Summer Series 2022) taking place in Budapest, Hungary.
The world number 11 coped a thigh injury during the final of the 2022 ITTF Africa Cup in Lagos on May 28 and he has been out of action since then yesterday at the BOK Hall in Budapest, the Nigerian played his first game in seven weeks but his return ended in defeat against South Korea’s Lim Jonghoon in the second round of the men’s singles.
Still yet to get back to his full match fitness, Aruna showed why he is one of the most feared players in the world against the Korean with some of his trademark shots which missed the target in most parts of the encounter.
Despite going down in the first game at 11-5, Aruna came back stronger with 11-9, 11-8 to take a 2-1 lead. In the fourth game, Aruna was taking charge but his unforced errors cost him to lose 11-5. In the fifth game which was the decider, the Korean took the lead from the start with 10-4, but Aruna worked his way back but it was a bit too late for him as he surrendered the tie at 11-9 to give the Korean a 3-2 win.
Despite losing on his return, an elated Aruna was happy to get back to action. “I am happy because six weeks ago I was injured so it is good that I was able to come back. I feel okay compared to when I started practicing not too long ago. My health is improving, and I believe in myself. I am looking forward to next week,” said Aruna.
Also yesterday, 2022 Africa Cup champion Omar Assar of Egypt played the game of his life with a 3-2 win over world number seven Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan.