Table Tennis: Aruna Quadri Tops Commonwealth Ranking List

Aruna Quadri, CommonwealthAsides being the best player in Africa, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has become the first African player to top the ranking list of players in the Commonwealth.

According to the ranking list released by the Technical Committee of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation (CTTF), Quadri who has been playing second fiddle to players from Singapore became the highest rated player among players from the Commonwealth nations.

Among the 277 players listed in the ranking, Quadri garnered 2385 points to beat Singapore’s Gao Ning, which has 2384 to second place. England’s Pitchford Liam has 2277 points to occupy third spot on the ranking list.

Africa’s most decorated player, Segun Toriola is ranked 12th with 2014 points behind players from India, Canada and England. Also Bode Abiodun is ranked 22nd with 1822points.

Prior to the May ranking, Quadri has been playing second fiddle to Gao Ning and as it is Quadri remains the best player among the players from Commonwealth nations.

Quadri also showed his quality in the French league when he aided his team, Jura Morez to remain in the elite division of the prestigious French Table Tennis League.

In the women ranking, no Nigerian made the top 20 list as Edem Offiong and Olufunke Oshonaike were ranked 23rd and 26th respectively.

Ibrahimovic Wins ‘Ligue One Player Of The Year’ Award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Ligue One Player of the YearParis Saint-Germain (PSG) forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has been named the ‘Ligue One Player of the Year’.

The 34-year-old Swedish bagged the award on Sunday, making it the third time in four seasons.

After scoring 35 goals in the French league and a total of 45 in all competitions, Ibrahimovic was handed the trophy by Dutch legend, Edgar Davids, at the UNFP Awards ceremony in Paris.

Also at the ceremony, Ousmane Dembele of Stade Rennais FC clinched the ‘Young Player of the Year’ award, beating Vincent Koziello of Nice, Thomas Lemar of AS Monaco and PSG’s Adrien Rabiot.

The French league champions’ coach, Laurent Blanc, claimed the ‘Ligue One Coach of the Year’ prize for the second successive season.

Quadri Ready For ITTF World Tour In Poland

ITTF-quadriAfter a disappointing start in the French League, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will this week return to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour in Warsaw, Poland.

Last week, Quadri could not save his French team, Morez from losing 4-zero to Chartres A.S in the elite league of the French Table Tennis League.

Quadri is seeded number 25 and he will start his campaign from the main draw of the men’s singles of the five-day tournament.

In the men’s doubles, the Nigerian will partner his continental arch-rival and friend, Egypt’s Omar Assar.

Utaka back on board with first goal of the season

Nigerian International and Montpellier attacker John Utaka has scored his first goal for the club in the 2012/13 season

Utaka’s strike in the game that played yesterday came in the 64th minute making it Montpellier’s second of the day against OGC Nice and it propelled them to victory with a final score of 3-1.

The attacker who made his Nigeria debut in 2002 and has made 43 appearances for the Super Eagles since then scoring six goals, latched on a sweet defence tearing pass from teammate Rémy Cabella after which he slotted the shot past opposition goal keeper; Joris Delle.

Though,Utaka was on the offside trap when he got the ball as replays showed but   officials failed to spot the action as the attacker showed his happiness.

The 30-year-old was an integral figure for Montpellier as they romped to the 2011/12 Ligue 1 title.

He made 43 appearances for the club in all appearances last season netting 8 times.

The forward has yet to replicate that form as he picked up an injury early this season and missed crucial games.

Chelsea to loot for Eden Hazard as he decides future tonight

Chelsea are ready to capitalise on their Champions League success by making a big money move for Lille playmaker Eden Hazard who has attracted interest from across Europe with his displays this season, admitted recently that his future does not lie at the Stade Metropole.

Representatives of Manchester City and Manchester United are expected to hold talks with Lille; the Belgian’s agent was in London yesterday.

Blues owner Russian Roman Abramovich believes that a £30m fee will be enough for the 21 year old to move to Stamford Bridge and Hazard is expected to be offered £250,000 a week on a five year deal.

Chelsea will now be in contention for the signature of the 21-year old with the two Manchester clubs.

Abramovich and his chief executive Ron Gourlay will have to put together an attractive package to bring the Belgian international to West London for he stated earlier that he will possibly be moving to Manchester City next season.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard was reported to have decided to make a final decision tonight as to whether he will be playing with Chelsea, Manchester United or English Premier League winners, Manchester City.

Hazard is a hot commodity in the market in the EPL, as he has played impressive football with Lille this season. In 37 games, Hazard has netted 17 goals, recorded 16 assists and got off 101 shots in the process.

Hazard is an elusive dribbler that is as quick as anyone in football in the attacking end of the pitch. At just 21 years of age, the young Belgian talent is among the world’s best footballers with his top-notch play.

His goal-scoring abilities and control of the ball are scary for opponents to have to handle to say the least. Hazard is as “hazardous” as they come with the ball in his possession.

With such developed and strong programs to choose from, there is no question Hazard will be able to prosper significantly well over the next several seasons.