Aruna Quadri of Nigeria has become the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games table tennis event.
This was after the 28 year-old Nigerian star beat World Number 13 and London 2012 bronze medalist Germany’s Timo Boll 4-2 in the fourth round of the men’s singles.
His victory sent Brazilian fans into rapture, as fans kept chanting ‘Nigeria’.
This was the second Olympics in which Quadri would participate.
To clinch the historic win, Quadri took the first set 12-10 in the first set before taking the second and third sets 12-10, 11-5.
Boll fought back and won the next two sets 11-3, 11-5 but the Nigerian, who is currently ranked 40, took the sixth set 11-9.
The 2014 ITTF Star Player of the Year had earlier in the third round defeated world number seven, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Chun-Yuan, to book a place against Boll. He will play winner of China’s Ma Long and Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik match.
Team Nigeria’s assistant captain, Funke Oshonaike, hailed Quadri for his heroic performance against the German.
Quadri’s quarter final opponent is World Number 1, Ma Long of China. More daunting is that he is the defending champion as well.
But some Nigerians are urging Aruna not to fear, as ‘nothing is impossible’.
One tweet encapsulates the hopes of Nigerians on the match: