Nigerian Quadri Aruna (pictured) is the 2014 International Table Tennis Federation‘s (ITTF) Player of the Year. Meet the table tennis star below.
Aruna, who practices four hours a day, was introduced to the sport at just 7 years old, when a man from his home city of Oyo began training him indoors.
Of his introduction to the sport, Aruna says, “It was just for fun then. I never knew what the future could bring. …
“And after about three years of [the man] training me, I went to Lagos to play my first tournament, and that was how I decided to go fully in to table tennis.”
Ranked No. 30 in the world and Africa’s singles champion, Aruna’s rise in table tennis has been remarkable.
But who does he credit for his success?
“It has not been easy, but I must also give kudos to my wife because without her supporting me to be going out, it would be even more difficult. But she gave me all the support to travel a lot, and I give thanks to my wife.
“I think she is so proud of me, because she never thought I could go so far in my life. She is a source of joy for me, and ever since I met her, my career has been going up and up.”
Watch Aruna gush over his wife here:
And with all of his success, Aruna says it is the simplicity of the game that makes him enjoy the sport the most.
“I love table tennis because it is a fun game. Whether you have the skills or not, you can just pick up a racket and play.”
Watch Aruna shine at the Men’s 2014 World Cup here: