Nigeria’s top tennis player, Quadri Aruna, has started 2020 as the 18th ranked player in the world, in the new ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation on Thursday, rising from the 20th position he ended 2019 with.
The new ranking was the best ever for Aruna, who also remained the highest ranked player in Africa, ahead of Egypt’s Omar Assar, who dropped from 29th to 28th in the new ranking.
Senegalese Ibrahima Diaw is the third ranking player in Africa, moving up six places to rank 76 in the world ahead of Nigeria’s Omotaya Olajide, down one place to 86th in the world and Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh who is ranked 101 in the world.
Quadri also ranked 18th in the Olympic ranking released by the ITTF on Thursday.
Aruna expressed delight at his new feat, saying it means more hardwork in the New Year.
“I am happy, I am starting this year with this ranking; this also means I need to continue to work harder because remaining on top is more work.
“So having achieved quarter-final feat in Rio (2016 Olympics), I think medal is possible in Tokyo (2020 Olympics). But I hope to qualify soon as the qualifiers is more competitive this year.
He also commended the Chairman of Premier Lotto Kessington Adebutu for his support in his career.
Meanwhile Adebutu says he is excited Aruna has attained his highest ranking under the support of the company.
“We are happy and want to congratulate him as our sports ambassador; we hope he will continue to act as a role model for the youth as we remain steadfast in our support towards his Olympic medal dream in Tokyo,” Adebutu said.
In the women’s ranking, Offiong Edem maintained he position as the highest ranked player in Nigeria and the fourth in Africa.
She however dropped four places to rank 123rd in the world.