Impressed with the quality display coupled with conduct on and off the table, the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy has described Nigeria’s Segun Toriola as a sports legend in the continent.
As as today, no athletes in Africa has won more medals than Toriola at the African Games as the Nigeria has won over 15 gold medal since making his debut at the games at Cairo 1991 in Egypt.
Speaking during the birthday celebration of the former African champion held during the just concluded 2015 African Games, El-Salhy said the performance of Toriola in Brazzaville has shown that he remains a role model for upcoming players across the continent.
“Toriola is a model of a real top player who is dedicated in promoting himself as well as good ambassador of table tennis in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world. He is a real legend of table tennis in Africa by winning the largest number of gold medals in all his seven appearances at the games. The upcoming players should concentrate on the sport and ensure that they work hard wherever they find themselves,” the ATTF helmsman said.
Toriola, who dream of making it to his seventh Olympics was halted in the quarterfinal stage of the men’s singles event by Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan remains the most successful player to have won 15 gold medals at the African Games.
Also, President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi said: “I must also commend the hard work of our legendary team captain Segun Toriola who just seems to get better with age. His calmness creativity and brilliance on the table coupled with his humility off the table singles him out as a great ambassador of our sport.”
Meanwhile, eight players have been confirmed to have secured their places at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
The players – Egypt’s Assar brothers, Omar and Khalid; Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan for the men while the women has Egypt’s duo of Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly as well as Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike and Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing.