Nigerian tennis pro, Segun Toriola who started playing table tennis in his father’s house was trained mostly by his brothers, some of whom played for Nigeria at some point is the only African to have participated in seven Olympic Games.
He was discovered through local competitions in Abeokuta. From there, he started participating in tournaments across the country. His first Olympics appearance was in Barcelona in 1992. It was after this competition that the then 19-year-old decided to go professional. So, he went to Italy to hone his craft.
Although he has never won an Olympic medal, Toriola has done pretty well in table tennis: He was number one in Africa from 1998 to 2008; he reached the Men’s Singles final at Beijing 2008, beating former world number one, Jean-Michel Saive; he has also won medals in All-Africa Games and Commonwealth Games.