Nigeria and Africa number one table tennis star Aruna Quadri and Portugal’s Jieni Shao are number one seeds in the men and women singles of the 2017 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open ‘Lagos 2017.
In the seeding list released at the weekend by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Quadri who is ranked 29 in the world tops the men’s list while his continental rival – Egypt’s Omar Assar is number two seed. Assar is rated 38 in the world.
Just as Portugal’s Jieni Shao tops the seeding list in the women’s singles, Olufunke Oshonaike is the only Nigerian that made the seeding list in the women’s singles event of the competition.
2009 mixed doubles world champion, Qatar’s Li Ping is number three seed in the men’s singles, while defending champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah is fourth on the seeding list.
Frenchman, Antoine Hachard is fifth while India’s talisman and 2016 Belgium Open champion, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is sixth on the seeding list.
The second Egyptian on the seeding list is former African champion, Ahmed Saleh, who will be making his debut at the Nigeria Open, and he is seeded seventh while India’s southpaw, Sanil Shetty is eighth.
Other top players that made the seeding cut are Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay (ninth); Romania’s duo of Rares Sipos and Alexandru Cazacu are 10th and 11th seed respectively.
2014 Nigeria Open U-21 champion and quarterfinalist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo is 12th on the seeding list while Nigeria-born Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu is 13th.
Italy’s teenage sensation, Alessandro Baciocchi is 14th, India’s Sarthak Gandhi is 15th while Nigeria’s Kazeem Makanjuola complete the 16th ranked list.
For the eight seeded female players listed, defending champion, Portugal’s Shao is number one while last year’s runner’s up, Hungary’s Szandra Pergel is second on the list.
African women champion, Egypt’s Dina Meshref is third, Russia’s Olga Kulikova is fourth; Hungary’s Bernadett Balint is fifth, while six-time Olympian, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike is sixth on the seeding list.
Ukraine’s Ganna Farladanska and India’s Krittwika Roy are seventh and eighth seeds respectively.