Toriola, Offiong Qualify For Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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Nigerian Table Tennis Star, Segun Toriola in action
Nigerian Table Tennis Star, Segun Toriola in action

* Nigeria’s duo wins ITTF Africa Olympics Qualification Tournament
Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Edem Offiong return to the big stage in sports as the duo on Thursday at the 2016 ITTF-Africa Olympic Games Qualification tournament is Khartoum qualified for the games in Brazil. Also the duo emerged champions at the tournament with victories over Congo Brazzaville’s Saka Suraju and Tunisia’s Saifa Saidani.
Offiong Edem, the top seed, accounted for Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi, the No.4 seed (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 11-3). It is the third time that Offiong Edem has qualified for the Olympic Games; she played in Athens in 2004 and more recently four years ago in London.

Also, Tunisia’s Saifa Saidani continued her staggering progress to reserve her place in the Women’s Singles event at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic.

Despite not listed amongst the leading names on duty in Khartoum, the 25-year-old accounted for Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou’s, the no.2 seed, exit to reserve her place in the prestigious quadrennial event. In a contest that ebbed and flowed, the Tunisian recorded a thrilling seven games success (11-8, 1-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).

A debut at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and present ever since that date; Nigeria’s Segun Toriola increased the number to seven in succession, by overcoming Togo’s Mawussi Agbetoglo.
With only two places available, Segun Toriola, recorded a straight games success (11-7, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6) in the vital decisive contest to reserve his place in the Brazilian city.
Celebrations for Nigeria, later in the early afternoon it was time for Congo Brazzaville to rejoice.

Suraju Saka beat Tunisia’s Adem Hamam in a seven games (10-12, 11-7, 1-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6) contest to join Segun Toriola on the Atlantic crossing.

It will be the third consecutive occasion that Suraju Saka has competed in an Olympic Games; he was present in Beijing and in London.

However, in terms of continuity, the top prize goes to Segun Toriola. He joins Sweden’s Jörgen Persson, Croatia’s Zoran Primorac and Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive as the four players who have to date qualified for the table tennis events at seven consecutive Olympic Games.


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