Monday, September 14, 2015 8:42 am
Taiwo Adelu/Sports editor
Veteran Segun Toriola turned back the clock when he recorded an emphatic victory over Mohamed El-Beiali and Omar Assar to help Nigeria reclaimed the men’s team title in the table tennis event ahead of the North Africans at the ongoing African Games in Congo-Brazzaville Sunday night
Since the tournament began, Toriola has remained unbeaten.
On the victory over Egypt, Toriola said: “I think the competition just started with this victory because we still have five medals to fight four. But prior to the match I told my teammates that we should have confidence even when we were down 2-1 in major. I knew that if I had to beat Omar Assar I need to be confident and not to play with any caution. If I am too cautious, I will make mistakes against Omar. I think it was the confidence in the team that gave us the victory.”
For the 2014 ITTF Star Player, Aruna Quadri, who was also a member of the team, it was a sweet victory.
“In our last meetings he defeated me but I could remember that I had also beaten him twice. But today I found answer to him because we play same style and he believes my style suits him. I am so grateful to God that I was able to find answer to Mohammed El-Beiali tonight. This is a big victory for after our women team narrowly lost to Egypt earlier,” Quadri said.
However, with a lot of tactical discipline, Egypt defeated Nigeria to retain the women’s team title.
Two wins from Dina Meshref and a win from Nadeen El-Dawlatly salvaged the victory for Egypt in the epic final.
“This is not the first time I will be playing the deciding match but my coach told me to concentrate. But I must say it was more difficult for me in the match. I remained focus and I am happy that I won the match for my country. I feel good winning the title against and I am now strong mentally,” said elated El-Dawlatly Nadeen.
Meshref Dina added: “I am very proud that we won the title this year because looking at the roll of honours, Nigeria has won the African Games title more than any country in Africa. So I am very happy that we were able to retain the title we won four years ago in Mozambique. This goes to show the Egypt is improving and our generation has really worked hard for this success.”