Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has set a new African record as the first player from the continent to be ranked in top 15 in the ITTF Ranking.
In the latest ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body, Aruna who was runner’s up in the men’s singles of the Cameroon 2021 ITTF African Championships moved four steps up the ranking ladder to occupy the 15th position.
He becomes the first African to attain such a feat in the world ranking and also erased Omar Assar’s record of world number 16 set by the Egyptian on 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 gave Nigeria the men’s doubles crown in Cameroon and the duo has gained ranking points to be ranked 20th in the world by ITTF in the men’s doubles.
For winning the men’s singles title in Cameroon, Assar gained eight steps up in the ranking to be rated 28th in the latest ranking. Assar’s compatriot – Ahmed Saleh garnered ranking points to move to 47th in the world, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw moved 10 steps up to 59th position, 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 retained her top position 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 latest ranking.