THE Oyo State government has congratulated reigning African table tennis champion, Aruna Quadri on his feat as the first African to reach the quarter-final of the men’s singles event of the Olympic Games.
This was contained in a statement signed on behalf of the state government by the Commissioner for Sports, Mr Abayomi Oke, a copy of which was made available to Tribunesport on Thursday.
“We commend Aruna Quadri for his feat at the Rio 2016 Olympics, we are so proud of him moreso being an indigene of Oyo State. He has made the state, Nigeria as well as Africa proud at the Games. We also commend his humility and sense of commitment. We are indeed proud to be associated with him,” the statement reads.
Oke stated that the structure is in place by the state government to encourage Quadri and other athletes from the state.
“Due to the new approach we are bringing into sports development, we have reached out to him (Quadri) on how to work out modalities in that regards.
“I personally spoke with him, I sent him an sms and we had a lengthy conversation to the extent that we tried to connect the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi to pray for him before his last match but that could not work out.
“As I said, we are using this opportunity to assure our state athletes that the government cares about them and we will ensure we sustain a very strong relationship with them at every point in time,” Oke said.
Quadri, it will be recalled, defeated world’s number seven, Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei 4-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7) and world’s number 13th, Timo Boll of Germany in the third and fourth round respectively at Rio 2016 before he lost in the quarter-final to world’s number one, MA Long of China.