Table Tennis: Nigeria’s Segun Toriola qualifies for historic 7th Olympic Games

Segun Toriola

Nigeria’s giant strides in Table Tennis have again been affirmed with the heroic feat on Thursday by former Africa’s number table tennis player, Segun Toriola, who braved all odds to qualify for an astonishing seventh Olympic Games.

Toriola sealed his place at the Rio Olympics after recording a big win in his qualification event held Thursday in Khartoum, Sudan.

The vastly experienced Nigeria table tennis player defeated Mawussi Agbetoglo of Togo by four straight sets of 11-7, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.

Toriola’s impending appearance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be the most by an African athlete.

After achieving the feat, the four-time All-African Games champion, who made his Olympic debut at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, said he was excited about the achievement as he never thought he could be playing in as much as seven Olympic Games in his career.

Toriola, who is honoured that he made history as the first African athlete to achieve such feat, said it was by no easy feat qualifying for the Games in Rio since he was playing under pressure, adding that as the tournament’s favourite, he was being cautious since most of the ping-pongers wanted to defeat him.

He now joins table tennis legends Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium, Jorgen Persson of Sweden and Zoran Primorac of Croatia in an elite group of players who have played at seven Olympic Games.

The Nigerian duo of Aruna Quadri and Funke Oshonaike had earlier qualified for the Rio Olympics.


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