ITTF Ranking: Omotayo becomes second highest ranked Nigerian ITTF Ranking: Omotayo becomes second highest ranked Nigerian
Olajide Omotayo has continued to gain more points at global ranking as the former national junior champion is now the second highest ranked Nigerian... ITTF Ranking: Omotayo becomes second highest ranked Nigerian

Olajide Omotayo has continued to gain more points at global ranking as the former national junior champion is now the second highest ranked Nigerian male player in the world following the February 2018 ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) at the weekend.

Also, the inactiveness of Aruna Quadri in January 2018 may have robbed off on his world rating, as the 2014 ITTF Star Player slipped to 22 from 20.

Omotayo who has been the second most active Nigerian player after Aruna Quadri on the ITTF World Tour moved from 213 to 211, while seven-time Olympian, Segun Toriola also gain six points to move from 268 to 262 in the world rating.

An elated Omotayo told NationSport from his base in Italy that he was happy that his fortune on the world rating continues to improve even as he targets another good outing at the 2018 Qatar Open holding in March.

Other Nigerians on the top 400 on the world ranking radar are Ojo Onaolapo (274, Bode Abiodun (292), and Nosiru Kazeem (356).

In Africa, Egypt’s Omar Assar held on to his status as the highest-ranked player in the continent despite dropping to 17 from 16 in the February 2018 rating.

Like Assar, Dina Meshref dropped to 41 from 39 but she still maintains her rating as Africa’s highest ranked female player in the world.

Also, Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson advances from no.22 to no.19, Ukraine’s Kou Lei moves from no.34 to no.26; similarly Denmark’s Jonathan Groth climbs from no.36 to no.29 and Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia from no.40 to no.34.

The latest ranking is a list where a good performance at the Hungarian Open in  Budapest has been rewarded. In particular, amongst the top 50 names, Germany’s Patrick Franziska, a quarter-finalist in Hungary moves from no.43 to no.38. Somewhat similarly, Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting climbs from no.45 to no.40.

Changes but not at the very top of the list where the status quo prevails; Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov continues to head the list with colleague, Timo Boll, once again in third place; sandwiched in between is China’s Fan Zhendong, the winner in Budapest.

Similarly, the latter’s colleagues Lin Gaoyuan and Xu Xin remain next in line to Timo Boll. Japan’s Koki Niwa is at no.6 one place ahead of China’s Ma Long and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting who share the no.7 position. Frenchman Simon Gauzy remains at no.9 with Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira and Tomokazu Harimoto followed by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas completing the top 12 names.

Meanwhile, Germany tops the Men’s Team World Rankings, ahead of China and Japan.

Nurudeen Adegbenro