New ITTF ranking thrills Aruna, Nigerian women lose spots


Johnny Edward

Reigning African table tennis champion, Quadri Aruna, is thrilled to have moved one step up in the current International Table Tennis Federation World Ranking for men’s singles, The PUNCH reports.

Aruna, who defeated Egyptian rival, Omaar Assar 4-3 in the keenly contested final at the ITTF competition in Algeria last week, is now ranked 14th in the world following his remarkable feat in the competition.

The 33-year-old amassed 500 points at the ITTF competition to unseat Tim Boll of Germany, who previously occupied the 14th spot.

Reacting to his upward ranking, Aruna said, “Indeed, it is a kind of consolation. I’m very happy, everything happens for a reason. I hope to improve on this. Algeria is a country I will never forget. It’s my first time there and I won, it will be an everlasting memory for me.”

Aruna’s countryman, Taiwo Mati, moved up 63 spots 91st in the ranking, his highest ever placing.

The 17-year-old, who reached the semi-finals of the men’s singles in Algiers, where he eventually lost to Aruna, chalked up 175 points at the competition.

He becomes the sixth top-ranked African player in the world, behind Aruna (14), Omar Assar of Egypt (22), Saleh of Egypt (66), Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal (72) and Mehdi Bouloussa of Algeria (86).

Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo also dropped seven and eight steps in the month under review to rank 121st and 125nd respectively.

Duo Azeez Solanke and Rilwan Akanbi dropped to 223rd and 326th after they lost 14 and 25 places each.

Samuel Boboye dropped 12 places to rank 246 while Orok Etim and Amadi Omeh are ranked 414 and 415 respectively.

In the women’s category, Nigeria’s top ranked player, Fatimo Bello, also slipped five steps from 60th to 65. Bello is the only Nigerian in the Women’s Top 100.

Edem Offiong dropped three steps from 112 to 115 while Funke Oshonaike is currently ranked 146th in the word after she lost seven places in the ranking for the month of September.

Abosede Odusanya and Cecelia Akpan both lost 11 places to rank 221 and 251 in the world respectively.

Esther Oribamise and Ajoke Ojomu, who both starred at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, also slipped to 316th and 317 as well.