•As Toriola moves from 120th to 106th
Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has inscribed his name in the annals of history on the continent after leaping to 25^th in the September rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Tuesday.
Quadri was one of the stars at the just-ended Rio Olympic Games in Brazil after stunning the world to become the first African to play in the last eight of the games ammased 152 points from his performance in Brazil to be ranked 25^th in the world. The Oyo State-born ping ponger it will be recalled, defeated Germany’s Timo Boll to become the first African to qualify for the quarter-final of the Olympics.
From 2305 points he had in the August rankings, Quadri now has 2457points to become the first player in Africa to be rated in the top 25 in the world.
Apart from rising to 25, Quadri in the latest ranking was also listed among the most active players in the world based on his rise from 40th in August to 25th in September.
Other active players in the recent rating are Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and England’s Paul Drinkhall. Calderano who like Quadri became the first player from South America to play in the quarterfinal of the Olympic Games. The Brazilian who was rated 54 in August is now ranked 31 in the world, while Drinkhall moved from 58 to 32 in the globe.
Also, a member of the ITTF ‘7’ Club, Nigeria’s Segun Toriola was rewarded for his effort in Rio as the seventh time Olympian moved from 120 to 106 in the rankings, while Egypt’s Omar Assar remains the continent number two. Assar who was edged out in the second round of the Rio Olympic Games by Ukraine’s Lei Kou dropped from 55 to 56 in the world.
Despite dropping to 118 from 110, Egypt’s Dina Meshref remains the top ranked African female player, while Nigeria’s duo of Edem Offiong and Olufunke Oshonaike were not lucky as well with Offiong dropping from 120 to 129 while Oshonaike dropped from 241 to 251.
In the latest ranking, 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.