Nigerian table tennis duo of Aruna Quadri and Olajide Omotayo have both dropped in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Rankings.
The rankings which was released on Thursday, April, 16, 2020, saw Quadri dropping from 18th to 20th spots with 8,710 points; while Omotayo who is Nigeria’s sole representative in the table tennis event of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games also slide to 79 in the world rating with 3,905 points.
Quadri, however, still maintains his status as the highest-ranked African player. His failure to confirm his qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics might have been responsible for his recent drop on the rankings after he abandoned the last 2 games of the Africa Olympic qualifying tournament in Tunisia due to a thigh injury.
Quadri, who has not played since February 28, is yet to resume training in his base in Lisbon, Portugal, following the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced the Portuguese government to lockdown major cities in the European nation.
The Oyo State-born athlete has, however, started light training indoors, which he said would aid his quick return when life returns to normal in Portugal.
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Olajide Omotayo has also been training indoors ahead of the Olympics.
Despite dropping by eight steps to 120 in the world rating, Offiong Edem remains the highest ranked Nigeria female player in the world in the female rankings.
Olufunke Oshonaike occupies 174th place in the rating.
At the top of the men’s ranking is China’s Fan Zhendong, who replaced countryman Xu Xin to top the rating, as China’s Chen Meng continues her dominance as the women’s world number one.
Following the current suspension of ITTF events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest ITTF Rankings released on April 16, 2020, will however be frozen until activities resume.
The decision to freeze the world ranking, according to the ITTF official website 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.