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ITTF president urges African players to emulate Toriola

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Segun Toriola (middle), flanked by ITTF-Africa officials, after receiving his award from the continent’s table tennis ruling body.

Segun Toriola (middle), flanked by ITTF-Africa officials, after receiving his award from the continent’s table tennis ruling body.

International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa President, Khaled El’Salhy, has urged emerging players from the continent to emulate Nigeria’s Segun Toriola, who has been a shinning light for the game in Africa.

Speaking while presenting an award to the seven-time Olympian at the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championships holding in Agadir, Morocco, Khaled El-Salhy said the decision to honour Toriola was taken by the Executive Council of ITTF Africa for his giant strides in the world.

The presentation was colourful with the Executive Council of ITTF Africa paying glowing tributes to Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map, as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic Games.

“It was the decision of the Executive Council to give such an 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 with the quality he still possesses,” El-Salhy said.

El-Salhy believes Toriola would serve as a role model for young players in Africa with his 100 per cent commitment to the sport on and off the table.

“Toriola’s commitment to table tennis is 100 per cent and this is why he will remain an inspiration to young players in Africa.‘‘


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