In Africa, Segun Toriola is a known face and his performance at big stage has made him a household name in Nigeria. As the most decorated table tennis player at the All Africa Games having won the men’s singles title from 1995 to 2007 and his record at continental level is yet to be equaled by any player.

Toriola who was part of the just concluded ITTF Hopes in Shanghai, China admitted that he has little time to prepare for the tournament ITTF Africa Senior Cup in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

“Well I have been busy lately after returning from the ITTF Hopes Week from China as well as taking part in the coaching programme. I have not really prepared very well because I had little time to prepare for now,” he said.

Toriola also disclosed that he met the Egyptian and Congolese teams in China adding that the seriousness attached to the competition would make it explosive.

“I saw the Egyptian and Congolese teams in China and they are really preparing well. I was aware that the Congolese team has been in China since last year because they are the host of the All Africa Games and they want to perform well. Also, I met the Egyptians who are also eager to know who will be representing Nigeria at the tournament. But with what I saw I know the Congolese and the Egyptian teams will be under pressure to perform well. But as for Nigeria, we will not be playing under pressure as everybody is relaxed,” he said.

For Toriola, taking part in this competition would afford him the opportunity to know his present form ahead of the All Africa Games.

“I have short preparation for the event because I started practice this week and with my experience I am sure I will still play very well. My focus is not on the title because anything can happen in table tennis but I know my experience as former champion will be helpful in Cameroon,” he admitted.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games champion tips Nigeria to excel, “As for Nigeria, I think Nigeria is the favourite for this tournament,” he said.