Aruna Quadri will miss three weeks of action after being sidelined by a recurring thigh injury which forced him to retire from the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunis at the weekend.
Quadri, Africa’s best ranked player, will also miss the ongoing ITTF World Tour, Qatar Open, holding in Doha.
Quadri aggravated the longstanding injury in Tunis during his second group match against Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw which the Senegalese won 4-2.
He had earlier beaten Togo’s Djouji Fanny 4-0 in the first group match and was on course to seal a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before aggravating the injury which forced him to pull out of his final match against Tunisia’s Adam Hmam with the Tunisian picking the last ticket to Tokyo.
Quadri, who finished as runner up at 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup last month, still has a route to the Olympics via the final World Singles Qualifying Tournament which will hold in Qatar from 28 to 31 May.
The top eight players are expected to qualify from the tournament.
Barring that, the Rio 2016 quarterfinalist can still qualify on the basis of his ranking when the ITTF World Rankings are released in June.
The Nigerian is currently ranked 18th in the world and the world’s top 13 players yet to qualify through regional and continental qualifiers are expected to qualify for the Olympics through their world ranking.
Reacting to the outpouring of support following his injury setback, Quadri expressed appreciation to fans across the world for their concern and vowed to come back stronger.
“I want to thank my family and fans across the world for their support during this trying time most importantly the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (TTTF) for their prompt response when I sustained the injury,” he told the Africa Table Tennis Federation media channel.
“The three weeks will help me to recover and I hope to be back for Sporting in the semifinal of the ETTU Cup early next month. Thank you and I will continue to make you proud and always give my 100 percent every time,” Quadri said.