Sunday, March 6, 2016 6:56 pm
After months of dominance over Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri in the ITTF ranking, Egypt’s Omar Assar has been displaced by the 2014 ITTF Star Player in the March 2016 ITTF ranking released on Sunday.
From the rating released, Quadri returned to top 30 in the world from the 37th place he was in February while Egypt’s Assar dropped to 36 following the defeat he suffered against Quadri at the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan.
At the just concluded ITTF World Team Championships in Malaysia, Quadir only lost a match to highly-rated India’s Sharath Achanta while Egypt’s Assar was defeated by lowly-rated players twice in Malaysia. The defeat suffered by the Egyptian affected his drop in the ranking.
With this, Nigeria may be on his way to Rio Olympic Games in the men’s event as Segun Toriola also made a triumphant return to the ranking to become the third rated African player in the world.
Toriola, who acted as player/coach at the ITTF World Team Championship in Malaysia played his heart out to be ranked 116 in the world ahead of Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin who dropped from 127 to 135.
Also, Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun continued his rise in the ranking as the Portugal-base star is rated 185 to be the sixth rated African player in the world.
According to Olympic team event qualification criteria, the ranking of the three players in each country will determine their eventual qualification for the Olympics.
ITTF’ website says that as it is, Nigeria players are ranked higher than the Egyptians and this was also confirmed by the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who has said that it is the ranking in the month of May of the three top players in Nigeria and Egypt that will decide the eventual team that will qualify for the men’s team event of the Rio Olympic Games.