The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) yesterday ranked Nigeria’s cadet sensation, Musa Mustapha, number one in the boys’ Under-11 category.
Mustapha, who was part of the Nigerian team that won the 2019 ITTF Junior Circuit in Ghana, becomes the only other African after Egypt’s Hana Goda, who was rated the best in 2020 in the Under-15 girls’ class in the world.
The world table tennis ruling body is said to have been monitoring the Nigerian starlet in the last three years when he made his senior debut at the 2018 Nigeria Open in Lagos.
In the latest ranking announced by the ITTF, Mustapha with 128 points is ranked number one in the under-11 category, while he is also rated 17th in the Under-13 category.
He is expected to take part in the next World Youth Series holding later this year in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
According to ITTF, the newly formed WTT Youth Series will replace the ITTF World Junior Circuit and be complemented by the new ranking regulations, being the first step in the whole sport pathway that will drive the most promising young talent towards the pinnacle of the sport.
Portugal will host the first-ever WTT Youth Series event, with the inaugural WTT Youth Contender to take place in Vila Real from May 11 to 17. It will be the first youth event to be held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another national junior champion, Taiwo Matti, is ranked 12th and 64th in the U-17 and U-19 respectively in the world latest rankings.