World number one table tennis player, China’s Ma Long, has praised the efforts of Aruna Quadri in their men’s singles quarterfinal match at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Tuesday.
Ma long beat Quadri 11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 to face Japan’s Jun Mizutani (world six) in the semifinals.
The 27-year-old Chinese, who won the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships in Suzhou, China, said it was not easy beating Quadri, adding that he learnt from the mistakes made by Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan and German Timo Boll in their fixtures against the France-based Nigerian.
“As an African player, it’s not easy that he made it to the quarterfinals stage; he was able to defeat Chuang Chih-Yuan (world seven) and Timo Boll (world 13) on his way to the quarterfinals, which also shows he’s strong and skillful,” Long told the International Table Tennis Federation’s website.
“His forehand and footwork are great, I think also because he doesn’t play much internationally, we are not familiar with his playing style and characteristics; that could have surprised his opponents and they couldn’t react and adapt in time.”
According to NBCOlympics.com, Ma Long wasted no time imposing himself on the match, winning the opener 11-4 in just five minutes. The world number-one was even more dominant in the second, taking the game 11-2.
Quadri had his best shot to get on the scoreboard in game 3; he was up 2-0 before eventually dropping the game 11-6. Ma Long would finish the rout with an 11-7 victory in the fourth.
Mizutani, who faces Ma Long in Thursday’s semis, punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 4-2 victory over Portugal’s Marcos Freitas Tuesday evening at the Riocentro.
Mizutani staked himself to an early lead when he won game 1 at 11-4. Freitas was able to get himself on the board with a hard-fought 11-9 victory in game 2, but Mizutani was unphased, needing just five minutes to take game 3 11-3.