Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, yesterday described the achievement of Nigeria’s table tennis star, Aruna Quadri at the just-concluded ITTF Challenge as an icing on an already sweet national cake following his victory at the Polish Open on Sunday.
After news filtered in that Quadri defeated Japan’s Kaii Yoshida 4-2 against all odds to emerge the men’s singles champion at the Polish Open, Dalung described the Nigerian number 1 as a consummate professional.
“Quadri has given us another reason to celebrate with this world title. This weekend has been so good to Nigerian sports and we are thankful to everybody who has made this possible.
“He has reconfirmed that his achievements at the 2016 Olympics and the 2017 African championship was not just a fluke,” he stated.
Dalung charged Quadri to consolidate on his success when he files out against 19 other top table tennis players around the world at the ITTF World Cup in Liege, Belgium.
“This victory is the morale booster needed ahead of the world cup. Now, all eyes will be on him. Other players who will be contesting for the world title in Belgium will now see him as a threat and serious contender for the title.”
The Minister used the opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians and the private sector to complement government’s effort in funding sports and also key into the endless opportunities that the recent rising profile of the country in the sports can provide.
“Since professional championships like these cannot be captured in the budgetary provisions of various sports federations and the Ministry of Sports, this is where individuals and corporate bodies must come in to help in funding.
“With the conducive environment already in place and tax waivers being given to indigenous investors and businesses by the Federal Government, companies should now be more encouraged to partner with the sports federations and sportsmen for better development,” Dalung said.
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