Nigeria table tennis star, Segun Toriola will make history if he features at London 2012 Olympics. Should he make it will be his sixth games as one of Nigeria's most decorated athletes. Toriola has been a dominant force in African table tennis for decades and is reputed to be among the most visible faces both on the continent and on the world stage in the game.
Toriola prides himself as the only Nigerian male athlete to feature in five Olympic Games, a feat also achieved four years earlier by his female colleague, Bose Koffo and former African Queen of the track, Mary Onyali Omagbemi at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Born September 18, 1974 in Ilorin Kwara State, he has been the best Nigerian table tennis player since 1995 and has been amongst the top table tennis stars in Africa since the mid 1990s.
Ranked number one in Africa from 1998 to June 2008, Toriola only gave up the top spot when Egyptian Eli Saleh Ahmed became the leading African table tennis player. He however regained the number one spot in 2009. On continental rating, Toriola has won virtually everything that is to be won in table tennis and is still eyeing major honours.
At the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, he won a record fifth singles title in addition to his 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007 feats. He has four doubles gold medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), one mixed doubles gold medal in 1999. Alongside Bose Kaffo; they won silver in 2003 and three team gold medals in 1995, 1999 and 2003. He bowed out at the quarter-final stage in Maputo, beaten in an enthralling seven games duel by Omar Assar (11-8, 12-14, 11-2, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9). Toriola also has four African table tennis singles championships (1998, 2002, 2004, 2006) and two doubles championships (1994, 1992); a Commonwealth Singles Championship (2002) in Manchester (United Kingdom); and a Commonwealth Doubles Championship and Singles Bronze Medal (2006) in Melbourne (Australia) to his laurels.
Toriola's journey in Olympics started in 1992 in Barcelona and his biggest achievement at the games has been reaching the men's singles fourth round at the 2008 version in Beijing, beating amongst others former world number one Jean-Michel Saive as well as David Zhuang. His third round match with Jean-Michel Saive was seen by many as one of the highlights of the men's singles tournament. He narrowly lost 4-3 to favoured Oh Sang-Eun in the fourth round. Toriola currently plays in the French League for Argentan.