For his exemplary lifestyle on and off the table the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa has joined the league of those impressed with the feat achieved by Nigeria’s Segun Toriola at the Olympic Games as the first athlete to attend seven Olympics from the continent.
At the colourful ceremony held during the ongoing ITTF Africa Senior Championships, Toriola who is the most decorated table tennis player in Africa was given a plaque by the President of ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy assisted by a member of ITTF Africa Executive Board and the President of Morocco Table Tennis Federation, Monqid Hajji.
According to ITTF Africa boss, it was the decision of the Executive Council of ITTF Africa to honour Toriola for putting the continent on the world map as the first athlete in any sports in Africa to feature in seven Olympic Games.
“It was the decision of the Executive Council EC to give such award to Segun Toriola, who is a legend of Table Tennis not only in Africa but also in the World following his great achievement of being the first African to make seven appearances at the Olympic Games from 1992 to 2016. WE also we believe that he has the chance to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020, which the quality he still possesses,” El-Salhy said.
For upcoming players, the ITTF Africa helmsman believes Toriola would serves as a role model for young players in Africa with his 100 per cent commitment to the sport on and off the table.
“Toriola commitment to table tennis is 100 per cent and this is why he will remain an inspiration to young players in Africa. He is also an ambassador of Table Tennis when it comes to fair play. His excellent performance at every competition coupled with his humility are traits that singled him out among other players in Africa ,” El-Salhy added.