Nigeria’s Toriola Makes History As He Qualifies For 7th Olympics
SAN FRANCISCO, February 19, (THEWILL) – Nigeria's table tennis star, Segun Toriola, has made history in Khartoum, Sudan when he booked a place at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to become the first African athlete to feature in seven Olympic events when he the games begin in Brazil.
Toriola now joins the likes of Sweden's Jorgen Persson, Croatia's Zoran Primorac and Belgium's Jean-Michel Saive as the four players who have ever qualified for the table tennis events at seven consecutive Olympic Games.
He defeated Togo's Mawussi Agbetoglo 4-0 in the semi-final of the ITTF Africa Olympics Qualification Tournament and beat Congo's Saka Suraju 4-1 in the final to win the men's single title of the tournament.
Fellow compatriot, Edem Offiong, also qualified for the Olympic Games after beating Algeria's Lynda Loghraibi 4-0 in the women's singles semi-finals and went on to win the women's single event when she defeated Tunisia's Saidani Safa 4-0 in the final.
Toriola and Offiong will now join Quadri Aruna and Funke Oshonaike, both who had earlier qualified for the Games in 2015, in representing Nigeria at the games in the table tennis event
The 41-year-old, who debuted at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in Spain has since then been participating at every Olympics. He also holds the record as the most successful African table tennis player at the Olympics, when he made it to the fourth round of the men's singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China.
Story by David Oputah