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 Tuesday 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 log to 15th place.
Aruna, now a pioneer as first Africa player to achieved world ranking and, in the process, break Egyptian Omar Assar record who was ranked 16th place in January 2018.
Aruna’s unbeaten streak 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 earned 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 earned 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 took eight steps up in the ranking to 28th place in the latest ranking.
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 stick to the top in the continent after rising to 35th in the ranking. Her compatriot and teammate, Yours Helmy moved 16 steps to rise to 85th in the world, while Nigeria’s Offiong Edem moved 12 steps to rise to 107 in the ranking.
Meanwhile, two Chinese ,Fan Zhendong and Meng Cheng, stick to the zenith of the ranking as the best-ranked players in the men’s and women’s division in the world.