Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has set a new African record as the first player from the continent to be ranked in the top 15 in the global ITTF ranking.
In the latest rankings released by the world table tennis body for September, Aruna climbed four steps up the ranking ladder to number 15 in the world.
The feat means he erases the previous African record set by Egyptian rival Omar Assar who rose to number 16 in the world in January 2018.
Despite suffering a 4-1 loss to Assar in the men’s singles final at the just concluded 2021 ITTF African Championships in Cameroon, the former World Table Tennis Player of the Year gained enough ranking points to join the world’s elite.
Aruna and doubles partner Bode Abiodun were also elevated to 20th in the world in the men’s doubles after they combined to win men’s doubles in Cameroon.
Following his run to the men’s singles crown in Cameroon, Assar moved eight places to 28th while compatriot Ahmed Saleh moved to 47th in the world.
Meanwhile, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw moved up 10 steps to 59th and Nigeria’s African Games champion 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 remains Africa’s best player after rising to 35th in the ranking. Teammate Yours Helmy rose 16 steps to 85th in the world, while Nigeria’s Offiong Edem climbed 12 steps to 107 in the latest ranking.
Meanwhile, China’s duo of Fan Zhendong and Meng Cheng held on to the top spots in the men’s and women’s ranking.