Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has set a new African record by becoming the first player from the continent to be ranked in the top 15 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Ranking.
In the new rankings released on September 14 by the world table tennis ruling body, Aruna, who was runners-up in the men’s singles of the Cameroon 2021 ITTF African Championships moved four steps up the ranking ladder to 15th place.
Aruna becomes the first African to attain this in the world ranking and, in the process, erased the earlier 16th-place achieved by Egyptian Omar Assar’s in January 2018.
Aruna’s unbeaten run came to an end in the final of the tournament in Cameroon when he lost 4-1 to Assar and for his performance, the former World Table Tennis Player of the Year gained ranking points to join the elite club in the world.
Also, his partnership with Bode Abiodun won the men’s doubles in Cameroon and the duo has gained ranking points to be ranked 20th in the world by ITTF in the men’s doubles.
For emerging as the men’s singles champion in Cameroon, Assar gained eight steps up in the ranking to 28th place in the latest ranking.
Also, Assar’s compatriot – Ahmed Saleh garnered ranking points to move to 47th in the world, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw moved 10 steps up to 59, while Olajide Omotayo rose to 87th in the world.
In the women’s ranking, bronze medalist in Cameroon and six-time African champion Egypt’s Dina Meshref held on to the top in the continent after rising to 35th in the ranking. Her compatriot and teammate, Yours Helmy gained 16 steps to rise to 85th in the world, while Nigeria’s Offiong Edem gained 12 steps to rise to 107 in the ranking.
Meanwhile, China’s duo – Fan Zhendong and Meng Cheng, held on to the pinnacle of the ranking as the best-ranked players in the men’s and women’s division in the world.