The 2014 exploits of Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri continued in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) after being named the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Player of the year.
At the colourful award ceremony that had respected table tennis players and administrators from around the world, Quadri claimed two awards ahead of players from Asia and Europe and becomes the first African to win the top prize.
The world’s number 30 ranked player was voted the Best Male player beating world number one, China’s Xu Xin and his compatriot, Fan Zhendong, who is the 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist as well as Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, who is the 2014 European Team Championships winner and the first Portuguese player to be ranked top 10 in the world.
Also, Quadri’s crucial winning point against Olympics and World Champion, Jan Zhike of China at the 2014 ITTF World Cup was won the best in the Star Point category at the second edition of the award.
An elated Quadri described the achievement as the best in his career, while acknowledging the support he got globally from table tennis fans.
“This is the best day of my career and I want to thank the organizers for considering me for this. I also want to thank all my fans all over the world for their support because this is unbelievable for me and I promise to continue to work hard,” he said.
For the Female Star Player of the Year, China’s Ding Ning, 2014 ITTF Women’s World Cup winner and world number one defeated Feng Tianwei of Singapore, Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan and China’s Liu Shiwen, 2014 Asian Games champion to the award.
The ITTF Star Awards is the official awards ceremony organised by ITTF since 2013. It is the most prestigious award aimed at recognising, honouring and celebrating the stars of table tennis.