Africa’s top-rank table tennis star, Aruna Quadri, moves up one spot from 14th to 13th in the latest International Table Tennis Federation World Rankings for men’s singles.
This comes after Quadri’s quarter-final finish at the just-concluded WTT Singapore Smash, where he became the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
The 33-year-old recorded wins over Ruwen Filus from Germany, French teenage star, Alexis Lebrun and Tomokazu Harimoto from Japan but suffered a crushing defeat to Brazil’s Hugo Calderano in the quarter-final.
Quadri’s performance in Singapore saw him earn 350 ranking points for a total of 2005 for the month of March.
Egypt’s Omar Assar is ranked 27th in the world and second in Africa with 1045 points, while Ahmed Saleh dropped six places to finish the month at 68th and third in Africa with 298 points.
Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw also lost seven spots to finish the month at 82 in the world and fourth on the continent, having chalked up 290 points.
Mehdi Bouloussa from Algeria moved up seven places to 90th and completes the top five players in Africa, after earning 267 points.
Quadri has been listed among the world’s elite table tennis stars that will compete at the $800,000 prize money WTT Champions Xinxiang in China next month.
Aruna Quadri wins ITTF African Championship title
Meanwhile, another Nigerian Taiwo Mati dropped three spots in the latest rankings for men, with the 17-year-old now ranked 101 in the world.
Despite dropping out of the top 100, Mati admits there were lessons learnt and experience gained from his early exit from the men’s singles WTT Singapore Smash 2023.
The teenager crashed out in the qualifying round of the tournament, after losing three straight sets 11-9, 11-9, 11-2 to Ecuadorian Alberto Mino.
After featuring at the WTT Feeders in Germany recently, Mati had hoped his quest to secure a place in the main draw will invariably rub off positively on his world ranking, but he lost in three straight sets to Mino.
“I have gained more experience from this championship because there are a lot of top players,” Mati said.
“I’m so happy to partake in a big tournament like this. And I also learnt a lot from them, which I’ll put into practice as soon as I return home.”
In the women’s singles, Fatimo Bello dropped seven spots to place 72nd, while Offiong Edem lost three places to end the month at 136th.
Abosede Odusanya also lost three spots to end the month at 243, just as Cecelia Akpan is now ranked 276 after losing two steps.
Esther Oribamise and Ajoke Ojomu, however, moved up one spot each to 338 and 339 respectively.