The performance of the Nigeria’s top four in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) ranking is a clear indication that the quadruple are willing to give all they can to take the nation to glory in the game of table tennis, despite the less attention given to the development of the Sport in Nigeria.
In this review, Sport Intelligence (www.sportintelligencemag.com) looks at the performance of Nigeria’s top 4 on the ITTF ranking, which consist of Quadri Aruna, Segun Toriola, Omotayo Olajide and Bode Abiodun.
Aruna is Nigeria’s no 1 in the ITTF World Ranking and Africa’s no 2, his previous best ranking was 26 in the world before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. But as at May this year, he witnessed a geometric progression on the ITTF World ranking where he moved from 26 to 22 in the world, becoming his highest ever ranking on the ITTF World ranking. Aruna who won bronze with team Nigeria in 2014 progressed with the squad at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he won silver in men’s singles and team.
Toriola is currently Nigeria’s no 2 in the ITTF World ranking and is ranked 157 in the world. The 43 year old who is arguably Nigeria’s oldest active athletes is a house-hold name as far as table tennis is concerned. He also witnessed a geometric progressive move from his previous ranking from 166 to 157 in the month of May, 2018. At the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games,Toriola who won silver with the team stated once again that he is not ready to retire from the game. He has been to 7 Olympics.
Omotayo is the youngest of the four and arguably the hope of Nigeria’s future as far as table tennis is concerned. The 22-year-old who was previously 215 in the ITTF world ranking before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games made a progressive move to 179th position in the world. The move means he is now among the first 200 in the world, and will be looking forward to actualize his dream of becoming Nigeria’s No 1 in the nearest future. At the Gold Coast, he made his debut and proudly expressed his joy on winning silver in his first Commonwealth Games.
Abiodun is Nigeria’s no 4 in the ITTF World ranking and is currently 266 in the World. The 38-year-old was previously 299th position in the world before the recent ranking, where he also had his fair share of a geometric progression in a style that made him not slip downward to 300th. No doubt, Abiodun’s upward move may not be far from the fact that he made a significant contribution to the silver-winning team at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Generally, Nigerian table tennis players are not doing badly as the current ranking shows that all Nigerian players moved upward in the ITTF ranking, with 15 Nigerian table tennis players all tied to 512th position on the ITTF World ranking after moving from 596th position which was their previous ITTF ranking.