Aruna Qadri is in contention for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) male Table Tennis Star of the Year award following what has been an impressive season for the Nigerian.
The 2014 ITTF Star Awards comes up on January 7 at the Burj Khalifa, the Armani Hotel in Dubai.
Quadri was at the weekend in United States named the second-best player at the 2014 North American Table Tennis Teams Championships. Out of the 18 matches played at the 17th edition of the NATT Teams Championships, Quadri only lost one. His exceptional performance at the last World Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany moved him from 73rd in the world to 30th.
A member of Joola’s three-man team, Quadri also inspired his team to second-place at the tournament attended by top teams from China.
In a release by the ITTF on Wednesday, Quadri, was nominated in the male Table Tennis Start of the Year for the second ITTF Stars Awards alongside, world number one, China Xu Xin and his compatriot, Fan Zhendong, who is the 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist.
Voting has commenced for the award and fans can now vote for their star player of the year at 2014 www.ITTFStarAwards.com.
The voting will end on Wednesday 17 December 2014. Fans’ vots will be combined with judging by an expert panel, including their peers and the media to determine the Table Tennis Stars of 2014.
Quadri has moved from number 237 to number 20 in just nine months.
Also nominated is 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.
Aside being nominated in the male star category, Quadri’s crucial point against Olympics and World champion, China’s Jan Zhike at the World Cup has also been nominated in the Star Point of the Year category.
The first ITTF Stars Awards was held earlier this year in the same Gulf State.