Aruna Quadri set a new personal record for Nigeria and himself as he is now ranked 21st in the end-of-the-year ITTF ranking released yesterday by the world table tennis ruling body.
Quadri now dwarfed his best of 25th in the ranking to displace Egyptâ€™s Omar Assar as the continentâ€™s best ranked player in the world.
Despite not matching up the record set by Assar as the first African ranked among top 20 in the world, Quadri ends the year as the highest ranked African in the latest rating.
Following his victories over top-ranked players at the Swedish Open, Quadri amassed 50 points to improve from 2457 to 2507points to be rated 21 in the world.
Prior to this latest ranking, the best achieved by Quadri in the world rating was 25 and with this, he has set a new record for Nigeria and himself.
However, the inactiveness of Omar Assar may have affected his rating, as the Egyptian dropped from 20 to 26 in the December ranking.
Speaking on Quadriâ€™s ranking, President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, said the feat was commendable as the player continues to put Nigeria and Africa on the world map with his scintillating performances at global stage.
â€œWe are excited about this latest ranking and this goes to show that our efforts are paying off and what we just need to do is to ensure we unearth and nurture more players like Quadri.
Also, young players need to take a cue from Quadri in terms of his diligent, professionalism and dedication to the trade.
â€œI hope and believe they can follow his footsteps in their career to make it to the top,â€ the NTTF boss said.
In the womenâ€™s ranking, Egyptâ€™s Dina Meshref dropped to 110 from 92 but she still remains Africaâ€™s best ranked female player in the world while Nigeriaâ€™s Olufunke Oshonaike inactiveness at global level continues to rub off negatively on her world ranking as she dropped from 227 to 262 in the last rating for 2017.