by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer
Now 43 years old, currently representing Bayard Argentan in the second division of the French League, the record of Segun Toriola is quite unprecedented.
He won the Men’s Singles title at the African Championships in 1998 in Mauritius and four years later in Tunisia; in 2008 he won the Africa Cup in Brazzaville, whilst in 2002 he struck gold at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, the first time that table tennis had ever been staged in the celebrated multi-sport event.
However, arguably his greatest claim to fame is that he won the Men’s Singles title at the African Games on four consecutive occasions. He won in Zimbabwe in 1995, four years later in South Africa, then in 2003 on home soil in Nigeria and in 2007 in Algeria.
Now another continental challenge await; Segun Toriola explained:
“Playing in any African tournament is a unique experience because every player wants to prove himself. So as a player who is well established must be wary of upsets because some unranked players are ready to turn the tables against you.
Having played several of such tournaments, I always look forward playing at the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup. I played in Kenya in 1996, I am eager to return to compete there again.
It is clear that Nigeria and Egypt that are going to be in the eyes of the storm. The battle for supremacy between the two nations will surely come to fore in Kenya and I believe the fans will enjoy every moment of the tournament.
I want to give people a surprise in Kenya. I am going there to do my best but I must say that I am not going to be complacent against any player because everybody is there can make the podium. So expect a surprise from me in Kenya.”