Portugal-based Aruna Quadri has expressed optimism about Nigeria’s chances of clinching medals in table tennis at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, with the right support.
Quadri, who defied all odds to make the last 16 at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned World Tour tagged Spanish Open, admitted that the attention giving to football is really affecting the fortune of other sports, particularly table tennis adversely.
“We really need support and motivation as we are hoping that things must change in our country’s sports because priority is just being accorded to football,” said Quadri.
“For us in table tennis, things are not going well because we are not getting enough support which is putting us in difficult situation all the time. Most times, we spend our l money to attend competitions in order to be well prepared for the Commonwealth Games.
“We really appreciate the financial support the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Enitan Oshodi has been giving to us since January.”
Quadri however pleaded with the National Sports Commission (NSC) to imitate their foreign counterparts, in ensuring players could get grants from the ministry to attend tournaments and allow them keep up to shape and maintain top form.
“I wish to take part in more pro tours before Commonwealth Games but I need support and motivation, I have spent a lot on myself and I am in need of financial support to keep playing tournament regularly so as to be in good shape for Glasgow Games,” he added.
On Nigeria’s chances at the Commonwealth Games in July, Quadri said: “We stand a chance of winning medal in Scotland because at the Spanish Opens, we had five English players and five Indian players with one English and two Indians making it to the last 64. But as Nigerians, we were only two that took part in the competition and only one of us made it to the main draw (round of 64). England and Indian are not better than us at present, but because they are playing tournament regularly to keep improving. We also need support to be playing tournament regularly and with that, we can be doing so much better than before.”