Africa’s highest-ranked player, Quadri Aruna, on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aruna, who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016, could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.

His three teammates in the sport, Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo, were earlier eliminated from the competition.

Nigeria will not be featuring in the doubles event, having not qualified for it.

Aruna, who is Team Nigeria’s captain to the Tokyo Olympic Games, in his reaction, lamented his ouster, saying he has disappointed the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, who deserved more for his efforts in turning Nigerian Sports around.

“Without doubt, Sports Minister Dare has done a lot to change sports and athletes welfare in his short time. His adopt an athlete initiative has impacted so much on many athletes,” he said.

“I feel disappointed I could not get a medal to say thank you.”

He however admitted that his opponent played better.

“That’s sports for you. I am a better player than him in ranking but he played very much better to win,” said Aruna.

“You know anyone in top 100 can spring a surprise at any time. I did not underrate him because we play in Bundesliga and I know what he’s capable of doing.

“It’s not the end of life. We’ll continue to work to see what will happen in future.”

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