LAGOS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — Nigerian Quadri Aruna has recorded a new African milestone by becoming the continent’s first player to be rated in the top 15 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.
In the ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body on Tuesday, Aruna, who finished second in the men’s singles at the Cameroon 2021 ITTF African Championships, moved four places up to 15, becoming the first African to break Omar Assar’s record of 16th place, set by the Egyptian in January 2018.
Aruna’s undefeated streak came to an end in the final of the event in Cameroon when he fell 4-1 to Assar, but the previous World Table Tennis Player of the Year received ranking points for his achievement, allowing him to enter the world’s elite club.
In addition, his partnership with Bode Abiodun won the men’s doubles in Cameroon, and the duo has received ranking points to be placed 20th in the world in the men’s doubles by ITTF.
For emerging as the men’s singles champion in Cameroon, Assar rose eight places in the current ranking to 28th.
In the women’s ranking, Egypt’s Dina Meshref, bronze medallist in Cameroon and six-time African champion, remained at the top of the continent despite climbing to 35th in the latest ITTF ranking.
Meanwhile, China’s Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng remain as the best-rated players in the men’s and women’s ratings respectively.
LAGOS, June 1 (Xinhua) — The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Tuesday confirmed the eventual qualification of Nigeria’s table tennis star, Quadri Aruna, for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
In a letter addressed to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Gabor Felegyi, the ITTF competition director, said Aruna, who competed for Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics, is expected to join 85 others across the globe to compete in the men’s singles event at Tokyo Olympic Games next month.
“It is with great pleasure, I advise the qualification of Quadri Aruna to compete in the table tennis Men’s Singles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on the basis of World Ranking allocation according to the June 2021 ITTF Olympic Qualification Ranking,” Felegyi said in the letter made available to Xinhua in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub.
He added that the NOC is expected to confirm Aruna’s participation on or before June 16.
With this development, Aruna will be making his third appearance at the Olympic Games. It was at Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil that Arena stunned the world with his performance as the first African to reach the quarterfinal after edging out some of the best players in the world including former world number one, Timo Boll of Germany before losing to the eventual winner, Ma Long of China in the quarterfinal.
Already 64 players have so far been confirmed for the men’s singles event while the remaining six slots are expected to be allocated as wildcards.