• Taiwo Mati makes top 91


Patrick Kelechi, Lagos


Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna maintained his grip on the top echelon of the continental ranking after moving to 14th in the world.


His compatriot and current African Youth Champion and bronze medallist at the 2022 ITTF African Senior Championships, Taiwo Mati, has gained 64 steps up the ladder of the latest ITTF ranking as Nigeria’s second-best rated player in the world.


The 17-year-old Mati who made the three-man contingent to Algiers for the ITTF African Senior Championships, stunned three-time African champion Ahmed Saleh of Egypt with a 4-3 win in the quarterfinal to make it to the semifinal of the men’s singles in Algiers, where he eventually lost to Aruna has been rated 91st in the ranking being his highest career ranking.


In the ranking released yesterday by the world table tennis ruling body, Mati is now the sixth best African player in the world behind the likes of Aruna, Omar Assar of Egypt (22), Saleh of Egypt (66), Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal (72), Mehdi Bouloussa of Algeria (86) and Mati (91).


Mati is now the second-best rated Nigerian in the world following his performance in Algiers.


Olajide Omotayo who lost 4-2 to Assar in the quarterfinal dropped to 125 in the ranking behind Bode Abiodun who also slid to 121 in the global rating.


Algeria’s Bouloussa is one of the biggest movers in the world as the former French junior international made his international debut for Algeria and moved up by 136 steps to be ranked 86th and fifth best in Africa.


African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt who reclaimed her continental title in Algiers gained 21 steps to be rated 29th in the world in the women’s singles.


2022 ITTF Africa Cup champion 14-year-old Hana Goda dropped three steps to be rated 42nd in the world while 2021 ITTF African Senior champion Mariam Alhodaby also dropped to 50th in the rating.


Runner up in Algiers, Yousra Helmy gained 25 steps to be ranked 56 while Nigeria’s highest ranked female player Fatimo Bello dropped to 65 in the rankings.