Tennis  

FROT group splashes $2,500 on Quadri despite defeat in Rio

Nigeria's Aruna Quadri serves to a teammate during a table tennis training session at the Riocentro complex in Rio de Janeiro on August 4, 2016, ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri serves to a teammate during a table tennis training session at the Riocentro complex in Rio de Janeiro on August 4, 2016, ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA

The quarterfinal defeat suffered by Nigeria’s table tennis star, Aruna Quadri in the hands of China’s Ma Long on Tuesday night in Brazil notwithstanding, the chairman of FROT Group, Frank Momoh has splashed the sum of $2,500 (about N1 million) on the Nigerian for his performance in the Games.

Quadri’s hopes of winning Nigeria’s and Africa’s first men’s singles table tennis Olympic medal were dashed on Tuesday night at the Riocetnro Pavilion 3, when he was beaten in four sets by World No. 1, Chinese superstar, Ma Long.

The Nigerian had stopped some big names on his way to the quarterfinals to raise medal’s hope for Team Nigeria, but reaching the semifinals on Tuesday night became a step too far. It took Ma Long just 28 minutes to end Quadri’s dream in a match that ended 11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7.

However, Frank Momoh, a promoter of grassroots sports including table tennis, football and wheelchair basketball says Quadri deserves commendations from Nigerians for putting the nation’s name in the World map in Rio.

Quadri was the first African table tennis player to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the men’s singles event in the Olympics.

At a time many Nigerians and corporate organisations abandoned Nigerian athletes during the build up to the Rio Olympics, FROT Group played its supportive role to the duo of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola by giving them cash incentives to boost their morale.

Speaking with The Guardian in Lagos yesterday, the chairman of FROT Group, Momoh said that his decision to splash $2, 500 on Quadri was to further prove to him that there is reward for great achievement, irrespective of the fact that he could not reach the medal zone.

Momoh was also full of praises for the President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, former Lagos sports commissioner, Wahid Enitan-Oshodi for his leadership, which according to Momoh, has laid good foundation for the game in Africa.

“The quality leadership of Wahid Enitan-Oshodi has never been in doubt,” Momoh said. “Your achievement in this Rio Olympics Games has further shown that you have good plans for table tennis is Pan African and you have my full support.

“With patriotic support from sport loving Nigerians and organizations, our table tennis players can establish their authority in world reckoning. To show our full support for the team, I, on behalf of FROT group hereby give a cash reward of $2,500 to Aruna Quadri for his new African record.”

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