Nigerian players improve in ITTF rankings

Nigerian para-table tennis players soared in the latest rankings released by the International Tables Tennis Federation on Monday.

This comes after their exploits at the recent 2023 ITTF Masters Para Open in Italy, where they won two silver and two bronze medals at the four-day F-20 ranking point championships.

Bolawa Akingbemisilu, a silver medalist at the tournament in Italy after he lost 3-2 to Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca in the final, was the biggest mover in the world in men’s class five of the latest ranking, as he became the only African to climb into the top seven in the world after amassing 1145 points.

Interestingly, Akingbemisilu, who had no points before April’s ranking was released, is being tipped to nick a spot at the Paralympic Games in 2024.

The quartet comprising of team captain Tajudeen Agunbiade, Isau Ogunkunle, Faith Obiora and Ahmed Koleosho, were also ranked after months of inactiveness prompted their removal from the world rankings.

Ogunkunle, who also won silver as well at the Para Open in Italy following her 3-2 loss in the final to Japan’s Kazuki Shichino, is now ranked 17th in the men’s class four, while Koleosho is rated 40th in the men’s class three.

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