Segun Moses Toriola is a professional table tennis player from Nigeria who was born on September 18, 1974, in Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria.
The youngest of nine brothers, he is.
He has held the title of top Nigerian player since 1995. Since the middle of the 1990s, he has been one of the best table tennis players in Africa. From 1998 to June 2008, when the Egyptian Eli Saleh Ahmed overtook him as the continent’s top table tennis player. However, Toriola has reclaimed the top spot in Africa since 2009. Known for playing the forehand in a unique way, which makes him an uncomfortable opponent for many. Despite having poor footwork, he has a great topspin, which has helped him pull off many upsets against top players throughout the world.
He debuted in Barcelona and went on to represent Nigeria at seven Olympic Summer Games. His best Olympic performance came in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he defeated David Zhuang and former world number one Jean-Michel Saive on route to the Men’s Singles 1/16 final. Many people considered his 1/32 battle with Jean-Michel Saive to be one of the highlights of the Men’s Singles Tournament. In the 1/16 final, he barely fell 4-3 to strongly favored Oh Sang-Eun.
He became the first Nigerian male to compete in five Olympics with his fifth appearance in 2008. Mary Onyali, a sprinter, accomplished this accomplishment four years prior. Bose Kaffo, a fellow player of table tennis, also accomplished this feat in 2008. Only thirteen players in the world of table tennis had competed in at least five Olympics by the end of the 2008 Summer Olympics. He became the only Nigerian athlete to compete in six Olympics with his appearance at the London 2012 Olympics. As a result, he became just the third African athlete in history to participate in so many Summer Olympics, joining Joo N’Tyamba of Angola and Maria Mutola of Mozambique.
He has won numerous medals in international solo competitions over the course of his career. His notable accomplishments include:
- 4 African Table Tennis Singles Championships (1998, 2002, 2004, 2006) and 2 Doubles Championships (1994,1992)
- A Commonwealth Singles Championship (2002) in Manchester (United Kingdom)
- A Commonwealth Doubles Championship and Singles Bronze Medal (2006) in Melbourne (Australia)
- 4 All-Africa Games Singles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), 4 Doubles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), 1 Mixed Doubles Gold Medal (1999, with Bose Kaffo; they also won silver in 2003) and 3 Team Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003).
2018 ITTF African-Cup
In the 2018 IITF African-Cup, Toriola took part, winning group 4 to advance to the quarterfinals. Saheed Idowu of the Congo defeated Toriola (2-4) in the Quarter Finals, eliminating Toriola from contention. To conclude the competition in fifth position, Toriola defeated Thameur Mamia (3-2) and Sami Kheroff (3-1) in the placement rounds.
The phrase “Segun Toriola” conjures up images of Nigerian and African table tennis. Toriola, who has competed in six Olympic games and won multiple African championships, has remained significant well into his 40s and is frequently ranked among Africa’s top 10 athletes. He frequently teams up with fellow heavyweight Quadri Aruna to represent their native Nigeria in Men’s Doubles and Team competitions.