African Table Tennis Federation Honours Segun Toriola

Segun Toriola, Olympic Games, Table TennisThe African Table Tennis Federation has honoured the continent’s most decorated player Segun Toriola at the ITTF Africa senior championships in Morocco.

The African table tennis body is recognising Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic games.

The ITTF President, Khaled El-Salhy believes Toriola has what it takes to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020.

Mr El-Salhy also commended the player for being an inspiration to young players in Africa with his 100% commitment to the sport on and off the court.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria’s men’s team have qualified for the 2018 world team championships holding in Sweden.

Egypt and Nigeria qualified based on their performance at the 2016 World Team Championships held in Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.

Togo also secured its place after finishing second in the fourth division at the World Team Championship in Malaysia.

Others are Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal.

Table Tennis: Egypt Reclaims Men’s Team Dominance

Table Tennis, ITTFEgypt has reclaimed the men’s table tennis team title it lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship holding in Morocco.

The victory recorded by the Egyptian women team against Tunisia was not as sweet as the win the men’s team had over Aruna Quadri-inspired Nigerian side.

The encounter had the quality expected of it and the players gave the fans something to cheer throughout the match with Aruna Quadri showing his worth against the Omar Assar-led Egyptian side.

The trio of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Aruna Quadri matched their Egyptian counterparts strength-for-strength and it was the same Mohamed El-Beiali that lost the final game at the 2015 African Games to give Nigeria a 3-2 win in Congo Brazzaville that saved the day for the North Africans as he won came from 2-0 down to beat veteran Segun Toriola 3-2 to give throw the Egyptian fans into ecstasy in the 3-2 win.

An excited Ahmed Saleh said: “We knew from the start of the match that Segun Toriola is a dangerous player and we planned that we could take the lead 2-1 and hoping that Omar Assar will defeat Aruna Quadri in the fourth game.

“Unfortunately Omar Assar lost and we were confident that Mohamed El-Beiali will deliver and I am so happy that he did it for us.

“This victory is sweet because that was our main mission in Morocco to reclaim our men’s team title which we lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“I am so happy that I am part of this team and I will cherish this victory for a long time.”

Nigeria’s Quadri Continues Fine Olympics Form, Qualifies For Q/Finals

Aruna QuadriUpsets continue at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games table tennis event as Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri defeated former world number one and current world number 13 Timo Boll in the Men’s Singles Round of 16.

With this victory, the 27-year-old Nigerian becomes the first ever African Olympic quarter-finalist in the sport of table tennis, making it the perfect birthday gift for the impressive player who celebrates his 28th birthday on August 9.

Aruna raced to a 3-0 lead and looked like an unstoppable force for most of the match.

A comeback was on the cards as Boll, who was a favorite for a medal here in Rio, fought back to 3-2, taking the fourth and fifth games in comfortable fashion. But it was a case of too little too late.

Aruna held his nerve and used his unique brand of athletic shot making to take the sixth game 11-9 and win the match.

“This is amazing! I don’t know what to say. My fans made me do this. Thank you for all the Brazilian spectators for their support. They gave me so much energy. This feels so good, it is a dream come true that I am in the quarterfinals,” said the world number 40 after his spectacular win.

Boll, who had the honor of carrying the German flag in the Opening Ceremony, once again had to reflect on an early Olympic exit: “He has surprised a lot of people. I knew he was good coming into the match. I just have to say well played! His whole game is different, so it took me awhile to work it out. Once I was 0-3 down I started to get more into the match, but it was already too late.”

Close to making the biggest upset in table tennis history to challenge Chinese dominance, Korea Republic’s Jeong Youngsik started his fourth round encounter against the current World Champion Ma Long of China with a 2-0 lead, but the world number one was quick to recover from his losses to prevail 4-2.

Aruna Quadri will face Ma Long in the Quarter-final. The match will be played by 9:30pm Brazilian time.

ITTF Ranking: Quadri Attains 29th In World, 1st In Africa

Aruna Quadri - ITTFNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has moved to 29th place in the latest ITTF ranking and also retains his top place as the highest ranked player in Africa.

Despite being inactive in the ITTF World Tour last month, Quadri with 2,393 points moved by one step to occupy his current position.

His continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar, dropped from 36 to 37 in the world.

Fortune also smile on former African Champion and the first African athlete to be competing in seven Olympic Games, Segun Toriola, who improved his world rating from 117 to 109, while Portugal-based Bode Abiodun also gained more points to improve from 185 to 179.

In the women’s ranking, Egypt’s Dina Meshref remains the best rated player from the continent despite dropping from 98 to 97.

The highest ranked Nigerian female player in the ranking is Edem Offiong, who improved her ranking from 242 to 230 while Olufunke Oshonaike, who was ranked 235 in March, has been taken off the world ranking for her inactivity in the last six months.Olufunke Oshonaike

In the Olympic Team ranking, Nigeria remain dominance in the men division despite dropping from 25 to 26 and the West Africa giant are still ahead of Egypt who are ranked 32.

But the North African are far ahead of Nigeria in the women team rating after occupying 31 while Nigeria is placing 40.

To decide the team that would represent the continent in the team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nigeria and Egypt would have to wait for the May ranking to know their fate.

But, as it is, Nigeria has an edge over Egypt in the men to qualify while Egypt has an upper hand over Nigeria in the women division.

Meanwhile, China’s Ma Long retained his position at the head of the Men’s World Rankings despite finishing second behind compatriot, Zhan Jike at the Kuwait Open.

It is the 14th consecutive ranking that has seen the 27 year-old head the list, since regaining the coveted position in March 2015 at the expense of colleague, Xu Xin.

Overall, it was the 44th time that Ma Long has appeared in top spot, a position he first secured in January 2010.

In the women’s world ratings, Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling once again retained their top three places.