Aruna Quadri has emerged winner of the 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open.
The 30-year-old on Sunday emerged the first Nigerian to lift the annual ITTF Challenge trophy in Nigeria.
The final concluding match of the 2018 event was an explosive 4-2 win over a France’s star player Antoine Hachard.
The men’s single was concluded at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, of Teslim Balogun Stadium on Sunday.
Quadri received a star prize of $5,000 and a side bonus of N1M from Lagos State Governor; Akinwunmi Ambode as the best Nigerian player in the competition.
An excited Quadri admitted that the Lagos fans’ support fetched him the needed victory against the enterprising France star.
In the final, he beat Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, the no.16 seed, in six games (11-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7).
It was Antoine Hachard who made the better start, as he established an 8-4 lead in the opening game before Quadri responded to win the next five points; at 10-9 Quadri held game point, he was unable to convert. On his second opportunity at 12-11, Antoine Hachard seized the chance.
Quadri becomes the first player to win on home soil since the tournament was established as a Challenge tournament in 2014 and lays to rest, the ghosts of when settling for runners-up spot.
Quadri claimed the same title on October 2017 in Poland.