Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has continued on his mesmerising rise in international table tennis, following his listing as the world’s number 30 in November’s international table tennis world ranking.
The remarkable rise, which is a rise from 237 to 30 in just nine months, marks the highest-ever ranking for an African table tennis player.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it also shows the rise of the continent in professional table tennis.
The historic ranking position for the 26-year-old from Lagos, who now plays professionally in Portugal, comes on the back of an unforgettable Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup appearance.
He got to the quarter-finals, and on his way, he beat world number 27 Kenta Matsudaira of Japan.
Quadri also beat world number 37 Alexander Shibaev of Russia and world number 16 Tang Peng of Hong Kong to announce himself on the world stage.
The father of one was ranked a lowly 237 in February this year, and such a rapid rise to number 30 in the world is a testament to his extraordinary talents.
“It’s just like I am dreaming. When I saw the world ranking, I started to cry because I was so happy. All my hard work and motivation has turned the impossible into possible,’’ an emotional Quadri said.
He was however not the only men’s World Cup star to jump in the rankings, as Marcos Freitas of Portugal moved from 12th to ninth.
Tiago Apolonia of Portugal moved from 17th to 13th and Chen Chien-An of Taipei moved from 22nd to 17th.
Asian Games champion Xu Xin of China continues to lead the way at the top of the world rankings.
The runner-up from the Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup, China’s Ma Long, moved into the second position, while Youth Olympic Games (YOG) champion Fan Zhendong of China dropped down to third.
Fan moved above the Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup champion, Zhang Jike of China, who is now in fourth place.
There were also some big movers in the women’s rankings after a busy October.
Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan, who finished third at the ITTF 2014 Women’s World Cup, has moved from ninth to sixth.
Georgina Pota of Hungary, who lost to Ishikawa in the third-place play-off, has moved up nine places to a career best of 26th in the world.
Women’s World Cup champion Ding Ning of China tops the world rankings for the second consecutive month.
Ding is ahead of her teammates, Liu Shiwen and Li Xiaoxia, who sit in second and third respectively.