Aruna, Omar To Represent Africa At ITTF World Cup

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri (L) and Egypt’s Omar Assar (R)

For the first time in the history of the ITTF World Cup, Africa will be having two representatives in the men’s event of the tournament holding October in Liege, Belgium.

Already, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri qualified in July as the winner of the ITTF Africa Cup and Egypt’s Omar Assar was confirmed as the second continental flagbearer based on his world ranking.

It was the performance of the two best African players that yielded positive results as Africa will be presenting two players for the first time at the annual championship.

President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy described the development as a giant stride for table tennis in Africa.

ITTF Nigeria Open: Quadri, Omar Seeded Sixth In Men’s Doubles

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has unveiled seeding list for the doubles events at the Nigeria Open. 

In the Men’s Doubles seeding list, India’s duo of Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Shetty Sanil are number one, while France’s Antoine Hachard and Gregoire Jean are number two in the list.

The only Nigerian in the Men’s Doubles seeding is Aruna Quadri who will partner Egypt’s Omar Assar and they are seeded number six.

In the Women’s Doubles seeding, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike will partner women’s singles defending champion, Portugal’s Jieni Shao and they are seeded number three.

Meanwhile, two Nigerian made the seeding list in the U-21 Singles rating for the championship as Azeez Solanke is seeded number two in the men’s U-21 Singles.

Italy’s Carlo Rossi has been seeded number one.

Nigeria’s Esther Oribamise is seeded number three in the Women’s U-21 Singles behind Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin and Egypt’s Amira Yousry who are seeded number one and two.

Aruna Quadri Pulls Out Of Qatar Open

Aruna Quadri, Tennis, Qatar Open, ITTF World TourAfrica’s leading tennis player, Aruna Quadri, has withdrawn from the men’s singles at the ITTF World Tour Qatar Open owing to a back injury.

He is scheduled to compete in qualification tournament which serves off on Tuesday, with the main event starting on Thursday, February 23.

The 28-year-old intends to partner Egypt’s Omar Assar in the men’s doubles competition, as the duo have their eyes set firmly on a place in the end of year grand finals.

Aruna and Assar face Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson in the first preliminary round of the qualification event.

The Karlssons are silver medallists at the 2012 European Championships.

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.”

2016 ITTF Nigerian Open Achieves Record Entries

ITTFFor the first time in the last three editions, the annual ITTF Nigerian Open has achieved record entries of participants for this year’s tournament.

Since its inception in 2013, the tournament competitors have not exceeded 100 but from the list of registered participants for 2016 edition, more than 120 players have been confirmed for the championship holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

According to the Tournament Director, Ranti Olajide, the quality of players and the number of entries is a reflection of the organisation and standard of play.

“I must tell you that this year we are having more players coming from Europe unlike in the past. Also players across the world are now beginning to realize that Nigeria is a mecca of table tennis in Africa, considering the achievement of our local players taking a cue from Aruna Quadri’s global resurgence, which has now become a rallying point for all the players across the world,” he said.

Olajide, who is an ITTF-certified international referee, believes the presence of the top players from Europe would halt the rivalry between Nigeria and Egypt which has dominated the tournament in the last three editions.

“I think this year, the tournament will be competitive particularly with the players coming Europe and they will surely give the home players a run for their money,” he added.

Officials from Egypt and Algeria will handle proceedings at the five-day tournament which has $46,000 (N13.8m) up for grabs.

Players will compete in six events which include singles (men and women); doubles (men and women) as well as U-21 boys and girls.

According to the prospectus for the tournament, any player entering for the tournament will agree to abide by all ITTF rules and by the rules and regulations of the Organizing Committee.

The table tennis tournament scheduled for May 18 to 22 will also renew the rivalry of Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar.

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.

ITTF Confirms Lagos Open Prize Money

ITTFWorld table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed the prize money for the 2016 Lagos World Tour.

According to the Director of Competition, Karl Jindrak, the Lagos Open, which is one of the Challenge Series tournaments in the ITTF calendar, will serve off on May the 18th to 22nd at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, with top players from different parts of the world expected to compete at the five-day tournament.

As the highest prize money tournament in the Challenge Series of the ITTF World Tour, players will jostle for $46,000 (about 13.8 million naira) this year with defending champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar making a return to Lagos after the humiliating defeat he suffered against Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri at the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Khartoum, Sudan.

Also, other top players from Egypt who have been part of the championship in the last three years are expected to return to Lagos in their bid to challenge for the prize money.

The ITTF has also listed six events for the competition and these include singles (men and women); doubles (men and women) as well as U-21 boys and girls.

Preliminary entry for the tournament has commenced while the final entry has been fixed for April 18 while no entries will be accepted after midnight on Monday 18th April 2016.

There are indications that top players from Europe and Asia will feature at this year’s tournament as they hope to earn world ranking points as well as make it to the end-of-the-year ITTF World Tour Finals.

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.

Quadri, Assar Impress In Men’s Doubles At Polish Open

QuadriThe partnership of Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar produced an impressive display in the men’s doubles of the ITTF World Tour tagged Polish Open to finish among the top eight at the tournament.

Quadri and Assar started their campaigns from the preliminary stage where they shocked teams from India, France, and Hungary to qualify to the main draw of 16 teams.

The prowess took them further in the main draw when they caused one of the upsets, defeating the seventh seed duo of Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Croatia’s Andrej Gacina, 11-4, 5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3 to set up a quarterfinal tie against the difficult duo of Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and João Monteiro.

Apolonia and Monteiro had accounted for the exit of number two seed, China’s Zhan Jike and Fan Zhendong in the round of 16. But Quadri and Assar could not withstand the fiery style and pace of the European as they succumbed 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 to finish among the top eight in the men’s doubles.

In the men’s singles, African champion, Assar who has been seeded among the top 32 and playing from the main draw could not play more than a match as he fell 4-3 to Russia’s Alexander Shibaev.

Unlike Assar, Quadri made Nigeria proud when he showed exceptional skills against Sweden’s Karlsson Kristian with a 4-0 (11-7,11-6,11-9,11-9) thrashing of the Swedish star.

In the second round, the 2014 ITTF star player was unlucky to be drawn against world number two and tournament number two seed, China’s Xu Xin. As expected Quadri was no match to the Chinese star as he was walloped 4-11,4-11,4-11,7-11 to exit to the men’s single in the second round as the most successful African in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Quadri has described his partnership with his continental rival as the best, and looking forward to more partnership with Omar Assar.