ITTF To Honour Toriola In Rio Today | Independent Newspapers Limited
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ITTF To Honour Toriola In Rio Today

Posted: Aug 12, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

For his exploits in the continent as well as being the first African in any sport to compete in seven Olympic Games, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will on Friday August 12 at the Riocentro Pavilion 3 in Rio honour Segun toriola.

According to ITTF Promotion and Media Manager, Matthew Pound, Toriola will be joined in the celebration by three other table tennis stars that have competed in seven Olympic Games – Croatia’s Zoran Primorac, Sweden’s Jörgen Persson and Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive.

Unlike Toriola, who made his debut at the Barcelona Olympics, the European trio debuted at the Seoul Olympics when table tennis became a medal hauling event at the Olympic Games.

The ITTF spokesman also confirmed that the President of ITTF, Thomas Weikert will make a presentation to Toriola while they will have a photo session with top officials of the world table tennis ruling body as well as some top players.

It will be recalled that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) described Toriola as Africa’s most successful table tennis player of all-time. He is the most decorated table tennis star, having won 14 gold medals at the All Africa Games from 1995 to 2015; two gold medals at Commonwealth Games as well as eight gold medals at the African Championships.

For 10 years (1998 to 2008), Toriola was ranked number one in Africa, and he is renowned for his unusual style of forehand play, which makes him an awkward opponent for many opponents. Despite lacking good footwork, he has an excellent topspin, which has allowed him to pull off many upsets with top world players.

At the Rio Olympics where he made his seventh appearance, he caused an upset in his first round tie against Czech Republic’s Dmitrij Prokopcov. Toriola was ranked 120, while Czech is rated 79 but he beat the European 4-2 to advance to the second round where he lost 4-2 toworld’s number 22, Japan’s Niwa Koki.