After making history at the Rio 2016 Olympics as the first African to reach the quarterfinals of the men’s singles event, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri on Tuesday became the first African to be ranked among the top 25 table tennis players in the world.
Quadri was previously the first African to be ranked among the top 30 in the world after reaching the quarterfinals of the Men’s World Cup in 2014 but he set the record higher on Tuesday when the International Table Tennis Federation ranked him 25 in the September rankings.
He amassed 2457 points in September to achieve this ranking after his performance in Brazil. The 2015 ITTF Star Player of the Year was also listed among the most active players in the world due to his rise from 40th in August to 25th in September.
Quadri will play in the 2016 Men’s World Cup in Germany from October 1 to 3.
Seven-time Olympian, Segun Toriola, also moved from the 120th position he held in August to 106 while Egypt’s Omar Assar remains the continent number two after dropping from 55 to 56 in the world.
In the women’s ranking, Nigeria’s Edem Offiong dropped from 120 to 129 and Olufunke Oshonaike dropped from 241 to 251. Egypt’s Dina Meshref is still the continent’s number one female player despite dropping to 118 from 110.
Olympic and world champion, China’s Ma Long held on to the zenith of the ranking again as the Asian star and his compatriot – Shiwen Liu remain number one ranked male and female players in the world.
Former Nigeria international, Babatunde Obisanya, praised Quadri’s rise in the rankings, saying the player would do better if the right support was given to him.
He said, “It is a very good one for him and Nigeria as a whole. Quadri is the new face of table tennis in Nigeria and I am quite happy with his achievements on the global stage. He will be able to achieve more if he gets the right support just like it is done in other parts of the world.”