TABLE TENNIS: TORIOLA LEADS TEAM NIGERIA TO MAPUTO
Chief coach of Team Nigeria table tennis squad, Nasiru Bello, has picked Commonwealth's former champion, Segun Toriola, to lead the team of 10 players to the next month's All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozanbique.
Coach Bello, fondly called Alakoro by his teeming fans, revealed this on Tuesday at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, where the team of 24 players is currently undergoing intense training for the All Africa Games.
Toriola, who is a professional player based in France, leads four other top players picked for the games. Others are: Quadri Haruna, who plays in Portugal, Monday Meroutoun from France, Portugal-based Segun Ajetumobi, while Kassim Nasiru from France completes the five-man male team.
The duo of Union Bank's Jude Ogidiolu and Sola Oyetayo failed to make the team.
Both of them are home-based players. Coach Bello noted that selection for the team was not easy as all the players had to undergo open trials in Lagos before being called to camp, adding that it was only on Sunday that they picked the members of the team after a month's rigorous assessment training as the players each had to play 19 matches within two days interval.
'At the end, statistics of all the players were used in the selection of the team. Toriola won all 19 matches to emerge the top player. I must say that all the players are in top shape, I have confidence in their ability to make the nation proud in Maputo.
'Everything has been working fine for us in Ibadan as accommodation and feeding have been okay.
The training facilities too have been up to standard and it is now left to us to execute the final part of the training, winning all the gold medals available in table tennis, come next month in Maputo.' Coach Taiwo also revealed that a team of four male players led by Toriola on Monday left for Cameroon to participate in a tournament.