Legend Toriola bows out

The legendary performance of Segun Toriola at the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympic Games came to a glorious end yesterday, after the record making African was edged out by Japan’s Niwa Koki in the men’s singles event of table tennis.

Nigeria's Quadri Aruna hits a shot in his men's singles qualification round table tennis match at the Riocentro venue during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO
Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna hits a shot in his men’s singles qualification round table tennis match at the Riocentro venue during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO

Despite his exit, the world table tennis ruling body, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) plans to organise a ceremony in Rio to honour the Nigerian for his Olympic feat after making his seventh appearance at the Olympic Games being the first African to achieve the feat.

Toriola who is ranked 120 in the world, had on Saturday August 6 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 vetera

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.”

Legend Toriola bows out on Vanguard News.

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