Following the decision by the Executive Committee of the International Table tennis Federation (ITTF) to release the April 2020 world ranking, Aruna Quadri’s inactivity in March may have cost him his slide in the latest rating.
Quadri, who could not qualify from the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Tunis for Tokyo 2020 after sustaining a thigh injury on February 28, has been out of action as he had to withdraw from last month’s Qatar Open before the world table tennis ruling body decided to suspend all its activities over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite being rated the best African player in the world, the 2019 Nigeria Open champion slide to 20 from the 18th place he had occupied since the start of 2020.
Like Quadri, 2019 African Games champion Olajide Omotayo also dropped in the world rating.
Omotayo, who is yet to return to his base in Belgium from Italy over the lock-down in the European nation, is now ranked 92 in the world after dropping by one step.
Egypt’s Omar Assar still occupies the second place in African ranking but the 2019 African Top 16 Cup Champion dropped to 38 from 35.
Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw returns the third place in Africa as the Senegalese who had already secured his spot at Tokyo 2020 is among the biggest movers in the world after rising to 69 in the world being the highest in his career.
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.
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.
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.