Nigeria, Egypt Seeded for ITTF World Championships Doubles Event

ITTFAfrica’s super powers – Nigeria and Egypt – confirmed their superiority on the continent as the two nations have been included in the seeding list of the doubles event of the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation World Championships taking place in Dusseldorf, Germany.

In the seeding list released by the table tennis ruling body, events like 2015 World Championships, 2016 ITTF – European Championships, 2016 ITTF – Oceania Championships, 2017 ITTF – Asian Championships, 2016 ITTF – African Championships and 2016 ITTF – Latin American Championships count for the doubles seeding for 2017 World Championships.

In the 32 pairs seeded in the men’s doubles, Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Olajide Omotayo are the Africa’s highest ranked men’s doubles, occupying 22 while Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin and Ahmed Saleh are seeded 26th.

In the women’s doubles seeding, Africa champion – Egypt’s Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref are rated 19 while Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike and Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou are 32nd in the seeding list.

Unlike in the men and women doubles which have players from Nigeria and Egypt, in the mixed doubles, three African teams were seeded.

African mixed doubles champion – Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref are seeded 12 while Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike are rated 18 with Egypt’s duo of Mohamed El-Beali and Yousra Helmy are 22 with the Algeria’s duo of Sami Kherouf and Lynda Loghraibi rated 32 in the seeding list.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima are named as the top seeds in the Men’s Doubles event at the 2017 World Championships which commence on Monday May 29 in Dusseldorf.

In the Women’s Doubles event, the pairing at the top of the list is that of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota; for the Mixed Doubles it is Korea’s Lee Sangsu and Yang Haeun.

However, whether the top seeds prevail or not, new pairings will be crowned; no pair in any of the three disciplines has ever been crowned World champion, most unusually, no pair is defending the title won two years ago in Suzhou.

At the 2015 World Championships, China’s Xu Xin partnered colleague Zhang JIke to Men’s Doubles gold, after having earlier clinched the Mixed Doubles title in harness with Korea’s Yang Haeun. In the Women’s Doubles event, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling reserved the top step of the podium.

Now in 2017, the name of Zhang Jike does not appear on the Men’s Doubles entry list, nor does that of Xu Xin on the Mixed Doubles line-up. In the Men’s Doubles event Xu Xin partners Fan Zhendong; in the Mixed Doubles Yang Haeun is in harness with Lee Sangsu.

Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin occupy the no.3 seeded position behind the combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth; Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu reserve the no.4 seed spot.

In the Mixed Doubles, next in line to Lee Sangsu and Yang Haeun is the Hong Kong pairing of Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem. Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson and Matilda Ekholm are listed in the no.3 spot pursued by a second Hong Kong partnership of Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching.

In the Women’s Doubles the names of both Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling appear but with different Chinese partners. Liu Shiwen joins forces with Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling partners Chen Meng.

Cheng Meng and Zhu Yuling are the no.3 seeds, one place behind Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching; Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen are the no.4 seeds.

Accepted there are players on duty who have won doubles titles at World Championships but they are not with the partner with whom they gained success.

NTTF Names Players For ITTF World Championships

The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation has named a strong seven-man team for the 2017 ITTF World Championships.

Africa’s highest ranked player, Aruna Quadri and seven-time Olympian, Segun Toriola will lead the men’s team.

Other players in the team are Olajide Omotayo and Ojo Onaolapo.

On the other hand, African champion, Olufunke Oshonaike, will spearhead the women’s team which includes Edem Offiong and Cecilia Akpan to the competition.

The biggest Table Tennis tournament in the world will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany from May 29 to June 5.

Aruna Quadri Maintains ITTF World Ranking Status

Aruna Quadri, commonwealthAgainst all odds, Aruna Quadri, has maintained his status in the November ITTF world ranking as the number 25th rated player in the world.

Many had expected the 2014 ITTF star player to slide in the ranking following his first round exit at the ITTF world cup in Germany as well as the men’s singles final match he lost to Egypt’s Omar Assar at the ITTF Africa senior championships in Morocco.

The Nigerian added four points to his world ranking to remain in top 25 in the globe.

Egypt reclaimed the men’s table tennis team title it lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship in Morocco.

Also, African women’s singles champion, Olufunke Oshonaike made the list of biggest movers in the world as the Germany-based star rose from 256 to 206, while seven-time Olympian, Segun Toriola moved from 109 to 101.

Toriola was recently honoured by the African Table Tennis Federation as the continent’s most decorated player.

The African table tennis body recognised Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic games.

The ITTF President, Khaled El-Salhy believes Toriola has what it takes to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020.

African Table Tennis Federation Honours Segun Toriola

Segun Toriola, Olympic Games, Table TennisThe African Table Tennis Federation has honoured the continent’s most decorated player Segun Toriola at the ITTF Africa senior championships in Morocco.

The African table tennis body is recognising Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic games.

The ITTF President, Khaled El-Salhy believes Toriola has what it takes to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020.

Mr El-Salhy also commended the player for being an inspiration to young players in Africa with his 100% commitment to the sport on and off the court.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria’s men’s team have qualified for the 2018 world team championships holding in Sweden.

Egypt and Nigeria qualified based on their performance at the 2016 World Team Championships held in Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.

Togo also secured its place after finishing second in the fourth division at the World Team Championship in Malaysia.

Others are Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal.

Table Tennis: Egypt Reclaims Men’s Team Dominance

Table Tennis, ITTFEgypt has reclaimed the men’s table tennis team title it lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship holding in Morocco.

The victory recorded by the Egyptian women team against Tunisia was not as sweet as the win the men’s team had over Aruna Quadri-inspired Nigerian side.

The encounter had the quality expected of it and the players gave the fans something to cheer throughout the match with Aruna Quadri showing his worth against the Omar Assar-led Egyptian side.

The trio of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Aruna Quadri matched their Egyptian counterparts strength-for-strength and it was the same Mohamed El-Beiali that lost the final game at the 2015 African Games to give Nigeria a 3-2 win in Congo Brazzaville that saved the day for the North Africans as he won came from 2-0 down to beat veteran Segun Toriola 3-2 to give throw the Egyptian fans into ecstasy in the 3-2 win.

An excited Ahmed Saleh said: “We knew from the start of the match that Segun Toriola is a dangerous player and we planned that we could take the lead 2-1 and hoping that Omar Assar will defeat Aruna Quadri in the fourth game.

“Unfortunately Omar Assar lost and we were confident that Mohamed El-Beiali will deliver and I am so happy that he did it for us.

“This victory is sweet because that was our main mission in Morocco to reclaim our men’s team title which we lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“I am so happy that I am part of this team and I will cherish this victory for a long time.”

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.

Table Tennis: Nigeria Qualifies For Rio Olympics Team Event

Table TennisNigeria has secured a place among the 16 men’s teams that will compete in the table tennis event of Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

This development was confirmed based on the May ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Friday.

Nigeria’s men was ranked higher than Egypt to pick Africa’s sole slot for the event.

According to ranking, Nigeria dropped to 27 spot in the world but was ahead of Egypt who was ranked 32.

ITTF Ranking: Quadri Attains 29th In World, 1st In Africa

Aruna Quadri - ITTFNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has moved to 29th place in the latest ITTF ranking and also retains his top place as the highest ranked player in Africa.

Despite being inactive in the ITTF World Tour last month, Quadri with 2,393 points moved by one step to occupy his current position.

His continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar, dropped from 36 to 37 in the world.

Fortune also smile on former African Champion and the first African athlete to be competing in seven Olympic Games, Segun Toriola, who improved his world rating from 117 to 109, while Portugal-based Bode Abiodun also gained more points to improve from 185 to 179.

In the women’s ranking, Egypt’s Dina Meshref remains the best rated player from the continent despite dropping from 98 to 97.

The highest ranked Nigerian female player in the ranking is Edem Offiong, who improved her ranking from 242 to 230 while Olufunke Oshonaike, who was ranked 235 in March, has been taken off the world ranking for her inactivity in the last six months.Olufunke Oshonaike

In the Olympic Team ranking, Nigeria remain dominance in the men division despite dropping from 25 to 26 and the West Africa giant are still ahead of Egypt who are ranked 32.

But the North African are far ahead of Nigeria in the women team rating after occupying 31 while Nigeria is placing 40.

To decide the team that would represent the continent in the team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nigeria and Egypt would have to wait for the May ranking to know their fate.

But, as it is, Nigeria has an edge over Egypt in the men to qualify while Egypt has an upper hand over Nigeria in the women division.

Meanwhile, China’s Ma Long retained his position at the head of the Men’s World Rankings despite finishing second behind compatriot, Zhan Jike at the Kuwait Open.

It is the 14th consecutive ranking that has seen the 27 year-old head the list, since regaining the coveted position in March 2015 at the expense of colleague, Xu Xin.

Overall, it was the 44th time that Ma Long has appeared in top spot, a position he first secured in January 2010.

In the women’s world ratings, Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling once again retained their top three places.

No Support for Nigerian Table Tennis Players – Oshonaike

OshonaikeNigeria’s experienced female table tennis player, Olufunke Oshonaike, has decried the lack of support the sport is suffering in the country.

Despite achieving recognizable success in the last three years, Oshonaike said that she cannot understand why the National Sports Commission is not willing to assist the federation to consolidate on their efforts.

The Germany-based player told Channels Sports that the negligence from the Sports commission is discouraging.

“I couldn’t make it to the ITTF Africa Top 16 in Sudan because of funding. No one has called me to find out why I did not participate and that’s because they don’t care. I had to pay for my trip to Yaounde for last year’s edition and till today, I’ve not received any refund. It’s just discouraging,” she lamented.

Oshonaike, who has qualified for the Olympics in Rio by reaching the semi-final phase at the African Games in Congo said that it is difficult for players to always pay for trips to represent Nigeria at international competitions.

She added that at the moment she did not know the plans of the Commission as regards the Olympics.

“Let’s not even talk about the Olympic Games yet, that one is in August. Let us talk about the World team Championships in Malaysia that comes up next month. What are the plans for team Nigeria? We don’t even know the players that will feature, no one has been contacted as regards preparations or even travel itinerary.

“For a competition as important as the world championship, that’s not the sort of approach we should give it.”

Oshonaike also spoke about Aruna Quadri’s victory in Sudan, the pride he brings to Nigeria and her wishes for Quadri to get corporate sponsorship that will help him take his game to the next level.

“I’m so excited about Quadri’s victory over Omar Assar. I have been celebrating and posting comments on social media. Quadri is a fighter and hard-worker who will go places in the future but without good support, it will be hard.

“He keeps winning for Nigeria and no one has recognized him and that’s not encouraging. He won the trophy in Sudan and it was announced Aruna Quadri of Nigeria, so that means his country must also be there for him. I want to wish him all the best in his career.”

Segun Toriola and Edem Offiong will begin their quest towards securing tickets to the Olympics on Tuesday in Khartoum, Sudan.

Toriola, who has featured at the Games six times, will make history if he can make a seventh appearance at the tournament.

 

 

Quadri, Toriola To Compete ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan

Segun ToriolaAfrica’s number two table tennis player, Aruna Quadri and six-time Olympian, Segun Toriola as well as Olufunke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong have been confirmed as Nigeria’s representatives at next month’s ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Khartoum, Sudan.

In the list of qualified players released by the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Quadri who won the tournament in 2014 in Lagos will battle for the title against his rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar who has remained a threat to the Nigerian rise in the continent.

The tournament scheduled to hold on February 14 to 15 has the top 15 players in the continent including a player from the host country to complete the top 16.

Toriola will join Quadri to cmpete for the laurel in the men’s event while Oshonaike who has already secured a place at this year’s Rio Olympic Games in Brazil will be joined in the women event by Edem Offiong who is at present plying her trade in the Portuguese elite league.

Having claimed three titles in 2015, the Egyptian duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref, top the list of invitees for the two-day tournament to be staged at the International Conference Centre in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.
Winners in the men and women events will represent the continent at the 2016 World Cups.

The players competing at the event are:

Men: Omar Assar (Egypt), Quadri Aruna (Nigeria), El-Sayed Lashin (Egypt), Saheed Idowu (Congo Brazzaville), Segun Toriola (Nigeria), Idir Khourta (Algeria), Suraju Saka (Congo Brazzaville), Olouwachehoun Guiganfode (Benin), Mawussi Agbetoglo (Togo), Sofiène Boudjadja (Algeria), Adem Hamam (Tunisia), Fessou Lawson-Gaizer (Togo), Alain Patrick Jague Niken Jiotsa (Cameroon), Derek Abrefa (Ghana), Emmanuel Ngwe Nikeng (Cameroon)

Women: Dina Meshref (Egypt), Nadeen El-Dawlatly (Egypt), Han Xing (Congo Brazzaville), Olufunke Oshonaike (Nigeria), Offiong Edem (Nigeria), Sara Hanffou (Cameroon), Islem Laid (Algeria), Lynda Loghraibi (Algeria), Zodwa Maphanga (South Africa), Amma Liobaka (Democratic Republic of Congo), Onyinyechi Nwachukwu (Congo Brazzaville), Cynthia Kwabi (Ghana), Harriet Ntumnyuy (Cameroon), Celia baah-Danso (Ghana), Isabel Albino (Angola).

Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref are the defending champions of the competition.

Quadri Moves To 48th In ITTF World Ranking

ITTFNigeria’s top player in table tennis, Aruna Quadri has started the year in number 48 in the world ranking.

In the ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body (ITTF), Quadri who ended 2015 in the 50th position, moved up two places.

His continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar also made progress and is now ranked 29th from the 31st position he finished in 2015.

Respected Nigerian player, Segun Toriola occupies 163rd position as no Nigerian female player made it to the top 200 while Egypt’s Dina Meshref maintained Africa’s best placing as 96th in the world.

Germany-based Olufunke Oshonaike is the top ranked Nigerian female player in the 207th position in the world.

Meanwhile, China’s Ma Long retains his no.1 spot on the Men’s World Ranking, while Japan’s Yuya Oshima climbed from no.24 to no.18. It is the 41st time that Ma Long has been listed in top spot in the monthly publication.

China dominated the women’s ranking; Liu Shiwen is number one, Ding Ning occupies the second position while Zhu Yuling is third.

Meanwhile, a Shanghai-based Sengled Optoelectronics Company Limited will on Wednesday January 6 at its annual exhibition in United States, honour Aruna Quadri.

According to the release by the company, the occasion which involves customers across America will have Quadri signing autographs, taking pictures and playing exhibition matches at the colourful three-day event.

Oshonaike, Quadri Qualify For Rio 2016 Olympics

OlympicsNigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Olufunke Oshonaike have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after making it to the semifinal stage of the singles event of the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

For Oshonaike, it’s a dream come true as she has equaled Segun Toriola’s record of six appearance at the games after making her debut at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in United States.

To book her place, Oshonaike defeated Egypt’s Yousra Helmy 4-2 to set up a semifinal clash against another Egyptian Nadeen El-Dawlatly on Saturday September 19.

With this qualification, Quadri who defeated Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-1 in the quarterfinal will be making his second appearance at the games after his excellent debut in 2012 when he made it to the second round.

For the semi-final tie, Quadri will battle against Egypt’s Khalid Assar who edged out Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo in the quarter-finals.

Other players who have sealed qualification are Egypt’s Assar brothers, Omar and Khalid as well as Chinese-born Wang Jianan who defeated Segun Toriola 4-1 in the quarter-finals.

The other three players that secured Olympics slots alongside Oshonaike are Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly as well as Chinese-born Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing.