When Aruna Quadri announced himself to the world in 2014, nobody ever considered the Nigerian to rub shoulder with the world’s best. But his performance at the 2014 ITTF World Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany, earned his global accolades that also fetched him double gongs at the 2014 ITTF Star Award held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Even when he made his debut at the Olympic Games at London 2012, he gave an inclining of what he had in stock when he bundled out Spain’s Carlos Machado to play in the second round where he was shown the exit by Turkey’s Bora Vang.

For his second appearance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the star, who is warming up for his third presence at the 2016 ITTF World Cup is hoping that good feeling in Brazil would surely boost his chance of doing well at Rio.

“I seriously believe that sometimes it is not about how ready or how prepared you are, but sometimes it is about how good you are feeling during the tournament. Preparation matters a lot but also feeling good during tournament is also important. I pray and hope I have good feeling in Rio,” he said.

Recalling his experience at London 2012, Aruna Quadri said: “My first appearance in London was not too encouraging but not too bad as well. I gave my best, but I lost a match that I was supposed to have won easily because I was almost about to qualify to round of 32 where I was 3-1 up against Turkey’s Bora Vang and I think this was due to my inexperience then. I strongly believe that better days are ahead of me in Rio. Like I said earlier, I hope and pray to have a better feeling during Rio Games.”

Aruna Quadri believes the new system of play would give every play the chance to make it to the podium. My expectations are high as I believe that the system of play in Rio can help to spring surprises and upsets. Just like nothing is impossible with hardwork but God and self-belief, it is very possible to move more steps higher in Rio than what I achieved in London.”

The 2015 ITTF Top 16 Cup champion hopes for a favourable draws in Brazil as this would also put him in good position to make it to the podium. I am seriously praying for a favourable draws because I think a good draw can also make things work the way I want. I must also admit that nobody in Rio is going to be a walk-over but a favourable draws is very important.”

  “Just like everyone wants to win a medal in Rio, I am also not going to Brazil just to add to number of participants as my objective of going is to win a medal just like every other participant wants also,” he added.

Having beaten Egypt to pick the sole slot in the men’s team event of Rio, Aruna Quadri is full of optimism on the chance of the African team. “I think our team is not bad and it is very possible for our team to perform beyond expectations. Nothing is impossible and just like in the singles, we are hoping for a good draw in the team event.”

Savouring the moment of playing at the biggest sports event in the world, “Olympic Games is the highest of all and playing at the Olympic Games is one of my dreams. It is always a happy moment whenever I qualified for the Olympic Games.”