New World Ranking ‘Another Big Challenge,’ Says Quadri Aruna
By Anulika Menanya, Lagos.
Africa’s top ranked table tennis player, Quadri Aruna says making the top 10 best table tennis players in the world is “another big challenge” to strive for more as the Nigerian looks forward to the future.
Aruna became the first Nigerian, African and black player to be rated in the top 10 of the latest International Table Tennis Federation ( ITTF) rankings released.
The new ranking was achieved following the approval of the new World Ranking system by the ITTF Executive Committee formulated by the World Ranking Working Group (WRWG). According to the new ranking system, the ranking of a player is composed of the sum of the points of the best eight results achieved in the last 12 months.
The new ranking style which is an objective merit-based method, will be used for entries and seeding at ITTF and WTT events. Aruna previously ranked 11th as at February this year, moved one spot to 10th.
“It’s another big challenge and with the support I have been getting all over the world it seems it is even very possible to even go further,” Aruna said.
“So I feel really challenged, similarly I am very happy and excited. I am looking forward to the future.”
According to World Table Tennis (WTT), it has been a long time coming as the King of Africa has finally made it into the Top 10 in the world.
“Aruna has truly been mister consistent in both his performances and his participation. The Nigerian has spent the last year notching up a string of finishes inside the top eight, while being one of the most active players on the WTT scene,” WTT said.
“It has included sensational headlines such as taking out China’s rising stars in succession at the 2022 WTT Star Contender Doha and a quarterfinal appearance at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals. It looks like the 33-year-old is just getting started.”
Hard Work Pays Off
Aruna has broken several records, including reaching the fourth round of the men’s singles event at the 2016 Olympics, becoming the first African to do so. But the journey to the top has not been easy and he has had to make several sacrifices along the way.
“I worked so hard, I travelled a lot, I invested my time, my money, I invested so much going everywhere in the world playing tournaments on several occasions,” Aruna added.
“I was never intimidated playing against opponents who have coaches. I was always focused and kept believing in myself, finally the hard work has paid off.”