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PSA World Rankings: Ajagbe, Amao Move Up As Olatunji Maintains Highest Career Ranking

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

The duo of US-based Nigerian squash players, Babatunde Ajagbe and Adewale Amao have risen in the PSA Men’s World Rankings for March released on Friday by the world’s squash governing body, the Professional Squash Association.

Concise News reports that Ajagbe moved up nineteen places to 175 while Amao accelerated from 253 in February to 241 this month.

Participating in his first PSA-sanctioned tournament of the year, Abeokuta-born racket sportsman, Ajagbe competed at the E.M. Noll Classic 2019 in Philadephia, United States where he lost out to Chamberlain Squash Open 2018 participant, Christopher Gordon 1-3 (3-11, 6-11, 11-7, 14-16) in Round 1 on February 15.

Also, Amao featured in his first PSA-endorsed tournament of 2019. At the Life Time Atlanta Open 2019 in Atlanta, USA, the 29-year-old succumbed to the superior firepower of England’s Alex Ingham 1-3 (3-11, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11) in Round 1 on February 13.

For Nigeria’s Queen of the Court, Yemisi Olatunji, she maintains her highest career ranking of 146.

In the meantime, in a bid to compete at top level, Olatunji Sr. has opened a fundraiser on for-profit crowdfunding platform, Go Fund Me to aid her Tour for the year.

Other Nigerian athletes on the PSA World rankings: Busayo Olatunji, Abdul Rahaman Yusuf, Adegoke Onaopemipo and Idowu Enimakure fell to 227, 284, 410 and 529 respectively.

Farag becomes new world number one

Meanwhile, on the international scene, Egypt’s Ali Farag has overtaken compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy to become the new men’s World No.1.

Farag, the 26-year-old Harvard-graduate, will be the sixth Egyptian male to top the rankings, following in the footsteps of ElShorbagy, Karim Abdel Gawad, Ramy Ashour, Karim Darwish and Amr Shabana.

Cairo-born Farag earned top spot after coming back from two games down to beat ElShorbagy in the final of January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

That win, coupled with ElShorbagy’s ranking points for the Windy City Open expiring on Thursday, means Farag now boasts a higher points average.

ElShorbagy, Tarek Momen and Karim Abdel Gawad make it an all-Egyptian top four, while Simon Rösner drops a place to No.5.

Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez rises to No.6, swapping places with New Zealand’s Paul Coll, with Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar rising a place to a career-high No.8 ranking.

Peru’s Diego Elias has moved up to a career-high ranking of No.9, while Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy drops two places to No.10.

France’s Gregory Gaultier rises one spot to No.11, swapping places with India’s Saurav Ghosal, with Omar Mosaad staying at No.13.

Chamberlain Squash Open 2018 champion, Zahed Salem enjoys an eight-place increase to a career-high No.14 ranking, while former World No.1 James Willstrop rises to No.15.

Victory at the Pittsburgh Open has seen Frenchman Gregoire Marche rise 13 places to No.17 – marking the first time he has featured inside the top 20 – and he sits behind Germany’s Raphael Kandra.

Joel Makin celebrates a career-high ranking of No.18, while English duo Tom Richards and Declan James complete the top 20.

El Tayeb makes it an all-Egyptian top three in women’s ranking

In the interim, the Women’s World Rankings for March will feature an all-Egyptian top three after Nour El Tayeb moved up a spot to sit behind compatriots Raneem El Welily and Nour El Sherbini.

El Tayeb had dropped down to No.4 last month after being overtaken by New Zealand’s Joelle King, but the 25-year-old has reclaimed her place amongst the top three once again on the same day that husband Ali Farag has become the men’s World No.1.

Her fellow Egyptian, Raneem El Welily, celebrates her fourth month at the summit of the women’s rankings.

French No.1, Camille Serme leap-frogs New Zealand’s Joelle King to rank World No4.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry stays at No.6 and is followed by compatriot Laura Massaro, while Egypt’s Nouran Gohar retains her No.8 ranking ahead of Alison Waters and Wales’ Tesni Evans, who moves back into the top 10 at the expense of United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy.

Sobhy drops three spots to No.13 – meaning she is overtaken by Hong Kong’s Annie Au and Egypt’s Salma Hany, with the latter reaching a career-high ranking of No.12.

England’s Victoria Lust moves up a place to No.14, while Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy rises three places to a career-high No.15 ranking.

India’s Joshna Chinappa drops two places to No.16 and is followed by Egypt’s Yathreb Adel (No.17), Hong Kong’s Joey Chan (No.18), America’s Olivia Blatchford Clyne and England’s Emily Whitlock.

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