Nigeria’s top rated table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, is now Africa’s best and ranked 30th in the latest world rankings.
After months of dominance over Quadri, Egypt’s Omar Assar has been displaced by the 2014 ITTF Star Player who has been in fine form lately.
From the ranking released, Quadri returned to top 30 in the world from the 37th place he occupied in February while Egypt’s Assar dropped to 36 following the defeat he suffered against the Nigerian at the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan.
At the just concluded ITTF World Team Championships in Malaysia, Quadri only lost a match to highly-rated India’s Sharath Achanta while Egypt’s Assar was defeated by lowly-rated players twice at the event. The defeat suffered by the Egyptian is largely responsible for his drop in the ranking.
With this progress, the Nigerian may be on his way to Rio Olympic Games in the men’s event as Segun Toriola also made a triumphant return to the ranking to become the third rated African player in the world.
Toriola, who doubled as player/coach at the ITTF World Team Championship in Malaysia played his heart out to be ranked 116 in the world ahead of Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin who dropped from 127 to 135.
Also, Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun continued his rise in the ranking as the Portugal-base star is rated 185 to be the sixth rated African player in the world.
According to Olympic team event qualification criteria, the ranking of the three players in each country will determine their eventual qualification for the Olympics.
As it is, Nigerian players are ranked higher than the Egyptians and this was also confirmed by the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who has said that it is the May ranking of the three top players in Nigeria and Egypt that will decide the eventual team that will qualify for the men’s team event of the Rio Olympic Games.
After the ranking was released, a delighted Quadri said that it is good motivation towards achieving more success in the sport.