ARUNA QUADRI, OMOTAYO DROP IN ITTF RANKING

The rating of Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Olajide Omotayo in the April 2020 ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has dropped but Quadri still maintains his status as the highest rated African player in the world.

Quadri who is still recuperating from the thigh injury he sustained during the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunis last February, dropped by two steps to occupy the 20th place in the men’s rating, while Omotayo who is the only Nigeria male athlete to have secured his place at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games also slide to 79 in the world rating.

Quadri who is yet to taste action since the injury he sustained on February 28, is yet to resume full training in his base in Lisbon, Portugal, following the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced the Portuguese Government to lock-down major cities in the European nation.

From18 in March, Quadri has dropped to 20 and the Oyo State-born athlete has however, started lighting training indoor, which he said would aid his quick return when life returns to normal in Portugal.

Like Quadri, Omotayo who has been stranded in Italy since the pandemic dropped down the ladder by one step to be rated 92 in the world.

Also, Egypt’s Omar Assar dropped to 38 from 35 while among the biggest movers in the world is Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw who rose to 69 in the world after moving up by six steps.

The Senegalese has also secured a place at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In the women’s rating, Egypt’s Dina Meshref maintains her position as the African champion still occupies 32nd place in the world.

Despite dropping by eight steps to 120 in the world rating, Offiong Edem remains the highest ranked Nigeria female player in the world. Olufunke Oshonaike occupies 174th place in the rating.

At the peak of the men’s ranking is China’s Fan Zhendong, who replaced compatriot Xu Xin to top the rating, as China’s Chen Meng continues her reign as the women’s world number one.

Japan’s Mima Ito shot up to second place in the women’s singles list – her highest ever position as she reaped the reward for consistent displays so far in 2020, which saw her take the crown at the Hungarian Open, in between reaching the semi-final of the German Open and final of the Qatar Open.

Following the current suspension of ITTF events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest ITTF Rankings released on April 16, 2020, will be frozen until activities resume.

The decision to freeze the world ranking was taken at the ITTF Executive Committee meeting held on April 1 2020, following the recommendations from the World Ranking Group and the Athletes Commission.