PSA World Rankings: Which Nigerian Player Is Rising & Who's Falling? PHOTO CREDIT: Top Media Nigeria
Nigerian players enlisted on the PSA World Rankings PHOTO CREDIT: Top Media Nigeria

The duo of National Sports Festival medalists, Adewale Amao and Yemisi Olatunji have risen in the latest PSA World Rankings released yesterday (Friday, February 1st).

Nigeria squash queen, Olatunji Sr. leapt two places to better her highest world ranking of 148. The West African no.1 is now ranked 146 in the world – a personal best.

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Olatunji was a double gold medalist at the December 2018 National Sports Festival held in Abuja. The 2018 Sports Racket Sportsperson of the year, Nigerian Sports Awards winner won the Prime Atlantic PSA National Closed Satelite 2018 as well as OTrafford tourney late last year.

US-based Amao on his part, champion in the $1,860 prize money Prime Atlantic PSA National Closed Satelite 2018 in Ikoyi is now ranked 253 globally.

Another US-based squash star, Babatunde Ajagbe who ascended in recent times dropped to #194. Last month, he was at #186.

Other Nigerian athletes on the PSA World rankings: Busayo Olatunji, Abdul Rahaman Yusuf, Moses Durosinmi, Adegoke Onaopemipo and Idowu Enimakure fell to 227, 283, 364, 406 and 510 respectively.

Since the start of the 2018-19 PSA World Tour, the majority of Nigerian players have been absent from top PSA tournaments. This is not helping them generally regarding their ranking points.

COLL RISES TO CAREER-HIGH RANKING AS GAULTIER’S RECORD STREAK ENDS

On the international scene, New Zealand’s Paul Coll has risen to a career-high ranking of World No.6 after the PSA Men’s World Rankings for February were released yesterday.

Coll, the highest ranked Kiwi male since Ross Norman in 1993, reached the quarter-finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions at New York’s Grand Central Terminal in January. As a result, the 26-year-old has risen a place to overtake Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez, who moves down to No.7.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier has seen his record 154-month unbroken run inside the world’s top 10 come to an end after the 36-year-old fell three places to No.12.

Gaultier, a former World No.1 and World Champion, has been out of action since October due to knee surgery, and he is replaced inside the top 10 by Peru’s Diego Elias.

Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy stays atop the rankings for a 12th consecutive month, but he is guaranteed to lose top spot to World No.2 Ali Farag on March 1. ElShorbagy’s ranking points for the Windy City Open – which he won – will expire at the end of this month, meaning Farag’s points average will be higher going into March.

Tarek Momen makes it an all-Egyptian top three after overtaking Germany’s Simon Rösner, while Karim Abdel Gawad completes the top five. ElShorbagy’s younger brother, Marwan, and Mohamed Abouelghar take the other spots inside the top 10.

India’s Saurav Ghosal rises a place to a joint career-high No.11 ranking, with Omar Mosaad moving up four places to No.13. Hong Kong’s Max Lee drops a place to No.14, while Germany’s Raphael Kandra stays at No.15.

England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop remains at No.16 ahead of compatriot Daryl Selby, with Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly dropping four places to No.18.

Welshman Joel Makin rises four spots to No.19 – marking the first time he has featured inside the top 20 – with England’s Declan James claiming the final spot inside the top 20.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour has fallen 11 places to No.35. The 31-year-old hasn’t featured on the PSA Tour since March 2018 due to a knee injury and he now resides at his lowest ranking since January 2006.

KING RISES INTO TOP THREE OF WOMEN’S WORLD RANKINGS

New Zealand’s Joelle King has claimed a career-high ranking of World No.3 after the PSAWomen’s World Rankings for February were announced.

Cambridge-based King, 30, has been in superb form this season after claiming her first ever PSAPlatinum title, the Hong Kong Open in November. She followed that up with a semi-final finish at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions last month in New York to move ahead of Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb.

Reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily stays at No.1 ahead of her World Championship title defence this month, while Tournament of Champions winner Nour El Sherbini remains at No.2. France’s Camille Serme completes the top five.

English trio Sarah-Jane Perry, Laura Massaro and Alison Waters stay at No.6, No.7 and No.9, respectively, with Egypt’s Nouran Gohar remaining at No.8.

United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy returns to the top 10. The 25-year-old was ranked as high as No.6 in the world before an achilles injury sustained in March 2017, and she will now celebrate her highest ranking since September of that year.

As a result, Wales’ Tesni Evans drops out of the top 10 and is followed by Hong Kong’s Annie Au (No.12), Egypt’s Salma Hany (No.13), India’s Joshna Chinappa (No.14) and England’s Victoria Lust (No.15).

Hong Kong’s Joey Chan moves up a spot to No.16, ahead of Egypt’s Yathreb Adel, Hania El Hammamy (No.18) Olivia Blatchford Clyne (No.19) and Emily Whitlock, who returns to the top 20 after three months outside.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David has dropped eight places to No.21, marking the first time since November 2003 that she hasn’t featured inside the top 20.