Toriola ends career with seventh Olympic record appearance
African most capped Olympian, Segun Toriola, yesterday bowed out of the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympic Games after he was defeated by Japan’s Niwa Koki in the men’s singles event of table tennis.
That notwithstanding, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has planned to honour the Nigerian at a ceremony in Rio for his Olympic feat after making his seventh appearance at the Olympic Games being the first African to achieve the feat.
Toriola ranked 120 in the world had on Saturday bundled out Czech Republic’s Dimitrij Prokopcov in the first round.
Playing against a higher ranked Prokopcov in the first round of the Men’s Singles event, the African legend pulled off an impressive performance against his opponent with a 4-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8) win to end the Czech’s Olympic dream in Rio.
In the second round tie against the Japanese ranked 22 in the world, Toriola put up a good fight as the young Asian was made to work hard for his victory against the veteran.
To exit the competition, Toriola fell 11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 11-4, 6-11, 1-11 (4-2) to the Japanese star.
Prior to his second round encounter against the Japanese, Toriola had caused an upset in the first round when he bundled out Czech Republic’s Dimitrij Prokopcov.
The 41 year-old Toriola, whose seventh Olympic Games appearance equals the table tennis record and makes him the most capped African Olympian stated after beating the Czech: “I’ve played him in the French League three times and I’ve lost every time. Today I felt confident before the match, I played without any fear. My first attack was strong and he made mistakes, the main problem for me was that I made mistakes when playing short.”