Nigeria reclaims men’s table tennis title, Egypt takes women crown
VETERAN star, Segun Toriola, who is the oldest player in the table tennis event of the on-going All Africa Games in Congo, yesterday turned back the hands of time when he recorded an emphatic victory over Mohamed El-Beiali and Omar Assar to help Nigeria reclaim the men’s team throne ahead. Egypt took the crown from Nigeria at the last All Africa Games in Mozambique.
Toriola, who has remained unbeaten since the table tennis event began in Brazzaville, stood like a solid motivator for Team Nigeria, not only as a player, but also as the spark the rest of the squad needed to silence the North Africans, who in recent times have had the upper hand over Nigeria.
Speaking after the team events, Toriola said: “I think the competition just started with this victory because we still have five medals to fight for. But prior to the match, I told my teammates that we should have confidence even when we were down 2-1 in major. I knew that if I must beat Omar Assar I needed to be confident and not to play with any caution. If I were too conscious, I would make mistakes against Omar. I think it was the confidence in the team that gave us the victory.”
ITTF 2014 star player, Aruna Quadri, describes the win as a sweet victory. “In our last meeting, he defeated me but I could remember that I had also beaten him twice. But today I found answer to him because we play same style and he believes my style suits him. I am so grateful to God that I was able to find answer to Mohammed El-Beiali tonight. This is a big victory for us after our women team narrowly lost to Egypt earlier,” Quadri said.