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International Table Tennis: Nigerian player eyeing place at 2020 Tokyo Olympics


12-27-2016 17:17 BJT

We make our way to Africa, where that continent's top table tennis player -- Segun Toriola believes country's there, could learn from the Chinese model for prosperity. The Nigerian, discussed that with CCTV's Saddique Shaban, as well his goal to reach an eighth Olympic Games.

At forty two, Segun Toriola looks younger and athletic than most players his age. Undisputable African champion since 2009, the Nigeria international downplays his dominance strategy.

"It is a lot of sacrifice. When you want to be on top of you have to make a lot of sacrifice. Your lifestyle is going to change. You need to work very hard, very hard training and you need to program yourself," Segun Toriola said.

The multiple African gold medalist has appeared at every games since Barcelona 1992

"For me , it is wonderful to play seven Olympics and not only for me, but for African players and especially in Nigeria . All the young players are happy about it and for me to participate in seven Olympics for young players in Nigeria, it boosts their spirits and their morale, you know, and they want to work harder to be like me," Segun Toriola said.

During his 21 year table tennis career, Toriola says his biggest inspiration has been Chinese players. Having competed at the 2008 Olympics, the Nigerian says Africa could learn a lot from their success story.

He may not have won any medals at the Olympic Games, but the two-time commonwealth games gold medalist became just the third table tennis player in history to compete at seven Olympic games.

The most decorated player in Africa is just warming up for his biggest challenge yet. A veteran of seven summer Olympic Games, Segun Toriola is eyeing his final shot- at the 2020 games in Japan.

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