Veterans, Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike, will lead Nigeria’s nineman table tennis team to the 2015 African Games holding in Congo Brazzaville. Toriola, who is Africa’s most decorated player, and Oshonaike will both be making their seventh appearance at the game since their debut at the Cairo 1991 Games in Egypt.
According to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), the nine-man team was selected based on their ranking coupled with series of trials organised in Lagos in the last three weeks. Toriola is the most successful player in the history of the All Africa Games, having won the men’s singles title four consecutive times in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
Like Toriola, Oshonaike is also the most successful female player in the history of the games, having claimed the women’s singles title twice in 1999 and 2003 while she was runner’s up in 1991 and 2011. Toriola, a six-time Olympian, will be joined in the men’s team by 2014 ITTF Star Player Aruna Quadri, Bode Abiodun, Seun Ajetunmobi and Ojo Onaolapo.
Besides Quadri and Ajetunmobi who had featured at the previous African Games, Abiodun and Onaolapo will be making their debut at the games Oshonaike will spearhead the female team, which include AAG women’s singles defending champion, Edem Offiong, Cecilia Otu-Akpan and Rasheedat Ogundele.
Also, Offiong and Otu- Akpan will be making their fourth appearance at the games having debuted at Abuja 2003 in Nigeria. The duo is also the women’s doubles defending champions having retained the title they won in Algiers 2007 at the 2011 edition in Mozambique. Ogundele, who is only debutant in the female team returned to the national team having had a stint with the team to various continental and international tournaments.