22 Feb 2017

He stands out amongst the crowd, the record of Segun Toriola is unrivalled; he is the only African athlete to have appeared in seven Olympic Games.

In 1991 in Chiba, Japan, the now 42 year old made his debut in the World Championships; once again in the German city of Düsseldorf at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships he will be wearing the colours of his beloved country. Play commences on Monday 29th May and concludes on Monday 5th June.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

No stranger to the global event but for Segun Toriola it remains a very special occasion; the dream of every player.

Furthermore, the determination is undiminished; the initial aim is to advance further than at the Qoros 2015 World Championships. In Suzhou he progressed to the main draw where, after losing the first three games against Chinese Taipei’s Huang Sheng-Sheng, he mounted a brave recovery before experiencing a seven games defeat (11-8, 11-7, 11-1, 9-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6)

He spoke to Olalekan Okusan the ITTF-Africa Press Officer

One thing that is unique about playing any competition is Germany is that, the country is one of the best table tennis playing nations in the world. Aside China in Asia, Germany remains the home of table tennis in Europe.

The standard coupled with the quality of players plying their trade in the German League speaks volume of what to expect in D sseldorf. My last World Championship in Germany was in Dortmund in 2012. The atmosphere at the venue is always exciting for every player. There is no dull moment when playing in Germany and that is why German Open is one of the World Tours that players are always eager to compete in.

It is the dream of every table tennis player to take part in the World Championship because it is an assembly of the best players. Some players who never had the chance to play at the Olympic Games see the World Championship as an avenue to showcase their talent to the world. Also the spirit at a World Championships cannot be compared to any other competition because it brings together the best and the quality of play is superb.

Chiba was my first World Championships; I was a junior player in the Nigerian team. I surprised everybody at the tournament, an unranked player I defeated Philippe Saive of Belgium. It was my first experience and I enjoyed every moment I spent in Japan because I played very well, beyond the expectations of a lot of people. Being a junior player, I wanted to prove myself and this really boosted my confidence.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Segun TORIOLA

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