Nigerian table tennis icon Quadri Aruna was eliminated from the ongoing ITTF World Cup Macao 2024 on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old failed to build on his good start to the tournament, losing 3-1 (12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11) to Portugal’s Marcos Freitas in the deciding match of Group 15 of the men’s singles.

It was his second defeat at the tournament, his first being a 4-0 drubbing by Daniel Gonzalez of Croatia on Tuesday.

Despite crashing out of the tournament over two defeats, the Ibadan-born player remains Africa’s best at the tournament, having reached the quarter-finals in 2014 in Germany.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Omar Assar was at his very best against the Swedish national champion Truls Moregardh, putting up a commanding display to beat the European star 3-1 (15-13, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5), and which captivated fans at the Galaxy Arena.

The Egyptian had on Monday beaten Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan 4-0 to emerge as the winner of Group 16 and secure his place in the second stage (knockout) of the $1m prize money championship.

Also, African Champion Hana Goda was knocked out of the women’s singles after losing 4-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9) to Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz in the final group match.

Egypt’s trio Mohamed El-Beiali, Yousra Helmy, and Mariam Alhodaby also exited the tournament, while Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou lost all her group matches to bow out of the competition.

Following the conclusion of the first stage, the top performer from each group will progress to Stage 2. This stage will feature an electrifying knockout draw with a best-of-seven-game format, where players will compete head-to-head until a champion emerges.

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