LAGOS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's table tennis star Quadri Aruna has been given the nod to be part of the top 20-man contingent listed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the 2018 Men's World Cup to be held in Paris, France.
The men's singles top seed at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open had initially missed out on World Cup qualification following his 3-4 loss to Egypt's Omar Assar at the 2018 Top 16 Africa Cup in Kenya earlier in the year, but the Nigerian's world ranking ensured he was on the final list for the lucrative tournament to be held between October 19 and 21.
In a statement that reached Xinhua on Tuesday, Zena Sim, head of the World Cup and the ITTF Challenge, said that Aruna's qualification was based on his July ITTF ranking.
"On behalf of the ITTF, we would like to invite Quadri Aruna to participate in the Liebherr 2018 Men's World Cup in Paris from 19 to 21 October. Aruna qualified based on his status as 2018 Africa Cup runner-up (after taking the July World Ranking (WR) in consideration)," the statement added.
For Aruna, this is the reward for his hard work.
"After losing the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Kenya, I have not been sleeping because I knew that it was still very possible to qualify through my world ranking, but I knew I had to work a lot for it," the table tennis star told Xinhua.
"I can say that my qualification to the round of 32 in Qatar and Germany, as well as some of my important victories in Sweden at the World Championship were enough to secure a place for me in France. I am very happy and excited that I finally made it and that my mission is accomplished. The good show I put up at the Hong Kong Open was enough as well," Aruna added.