New Telegraph

My Wife, Family Key to My Success – Aruna Quadri

Newly-crowned ITTF African Champion, Aruna Quadri, spoke to Brila FM about his recent continental exploits and other issues about his career. ADEKUNLE SALAMI monitored the interview. Excerpts:

Tell us the feeling after reclaiming the ITTF African title after losing four times in the past…

It’s just the spirit of never giving up, spirit of working so hard for the result. I lost to Omar three times, one to another Egyptian. But I recall two years ago when I was world number 10. I was close to winning in the final to create another history of becoming number 9 but I lost because I got injured in the middle of the match. I told myself I will not give up. In all, the feeling was that of joy but there was little or no time to celebrate much. I didn’t have a lot of time; I had to get back home. I was very happy. There was no big celebration. I celebrated with my family.

You are married to a table tennis player, are your kids also playing the ping pong game?

They are playing already. They have been playing for years now. Four months ago, my son was playing, we are doing our best. We will not force anything on them, we will support them. My daughter and sons are playing till last week. They may play internationals soon. We (My wife and I) played several times. It’s impossible to beat my wife. If I win, I won’t sleep at home or there might be no food for me. She’s actually playing. I vie for honours outside the house, when we play at home, she is champion…(laughs).

What is your next target?

We will be playing the WTT champion in China. We will be play ing in other places. I will play in Lagos again and then in Thailand and we will have about four or five tournament before the Olympics. Slovenia, Lagos and Chi- na. After that, we have about two or three weeks to get well. It’s a loaded season especially with the Olympic Games in the mix.

If you were not playing Table tennis, which other sport would you have loved to do?

When I was in primary and secondary school I used to run a lot. I was very good in relays and 100m race. I remember vividly that I represented my primary school but somehow, I discovered that I was better in table tennis and so I moved in to focus on it.

Tell us what keeps you going?

My wife and family have been supporting me. They always tell me never to give up. My kids and wife are behind me all the way. I have a lot of encouragement and strong belief that it is not over until it is over. I do a lot of physical exercise. I used to practice table tennis five hours a day now but now I do two. I spend time in the gym. With these things, I keep fit.

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