The COVID-19 outbreak ground almost all sports to a halt. Nigeria’s No.1 table-tennis player, Quadri Aruna, revealed in a YouTube programme “Ask a Pro Anything at home‘ how the first four months of the lockdown were both a hard and good experience for him.
“I was able to recover from several injuries; I was able to stay a lot with the family,” something he found very difficult to do in an active playing calendar.
In the last three months, “I have been able to know that women are very important for the family because I was able to stay with the kids – the whole family and I finally realised the kind of work my wife has been doing for years while I am outside for tournaments or training – in camps or for league matches.
Also, it was somehow difficult because “for two months [after the lockdown began] I was unable to practice, so I did mainly physical fitness. Similarly, it is a year that I realised that we are really not going to gain anything. What we will gain this year is to be alive and the best way to be alive is to keep safe and keep to the regulations.
“We have always been thinking of taking pro tours – win, I don’t want to lose but for this year I have always been thinking the best way to gain is to be alive because so many people have died already. So for me I think it is very important to do normal training now; normal physical fitness but at the same time, I am always thinking of the best way to be very [very] safe because I know something good is coming next year.
“For the rest of the year, I am not seeking any kind of goal because I know it will be hard to have tournaments, so I think it will be very important to be safe,” he added.
Aruna is in Portugal with his family where he has played for the Sporting club for about 10 years but he has signed for the German side, TC RhonSprudel Fulda-Maberzell, which competes in the German Bundesliga
He is also one of the 16 male players invited for the a ‘special promotional showcase’ World Table Tennis event scheduled for Macau, China from November 25 to 29.
The first-ever event organised under the auspices of The International Table-Tennis Federation comes “After many months of planning behind the scenes, WTT is ready to put on a show in Macau and provide an opportunity for players, fans, and broadcasters to experience a teaser of what to expect when WTT launches its first annual calendar of events in 2021.”