In the latest world rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Nigerian table tennis player Taiwo Mati made a significant leap, climbing 13 places to secure the 63rd position.
Mati, an 18-year-old prodigy, accumulated 272 points, solidifying his position as the third-best player in Africa. This remarkable achievement highlights Mati’s talent and potential at a young age. Previously, in the week 26 rankings, he held the 76th spot.
Mati’s rise in the rankings can be attributed to his performances in various tournaments this year. He reached the quarterfinals of the ITTF-Africa Cup in Nairobi, Kenya, the Round of 32 at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Durban, South Africa, and took part in the WTT Contender in Lagos, although he faced an early exit in the latter event.
Mati also competed in the WTT Feeder in Dusseldorf, Germany, the WTT Contender in Zagreb, Croatia, and the Singapore Smash in Singapore, making progress in each competition.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s highest-ranked player, Quadri Aruna, slipped one place to 18th in the world rankings. Despite the minor drop, Aruna remains the top-ranked player in Africa, with Egyptian Omar Assar rising to 22nd place globally. Another Nigerian player, Olajide Omotayo, made a significant jump of 18 places, moving up to the 139th position.
Other Nigerian players like Amadi Omeh and Rilwan Akanbi climbed to the fifth and sixth spots in Nigeria, respectively, with Omeh climbing 28 places to 164th and Akanbi leaping an impressive 32 places to 259th place.
China’s Chuqin Wang displaced countryman Zhendong Fan to become the top-ranked ping-pong player in the world, while Long Ma maintained the third position in the Chinese top three.
In the women’s category, Nigeria’s leading player, Offiong Edem, experienced a significant setback, dropping 137 places to 283rd place in the world rankings. Veteran player Funke Oshonaike also faced a decline, falling 222 places to the 374th position.
Nigeria’s No. 1 player, Fatimo Bello, disappointingly dropped 56 places to place 108th in the world, while Tosin Oribamise leapt 24 places to No. 147. Ajoke Ojomu also moved 25 places to No. 191, the only positive for the women.
At the top of the women’s rankings, Chinese players Sun Yingsha, Wang Yidi, and Chen Meng maintained their dominance, occupying the top three spots, respectively. The Chinese table tennis team continues to excel, showcasing its powerful presence in the sport.
These rankings reflect the performance and progress of table tennis players from Nigeria and around the world, highlighting both their achievements and areas for improvement.
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