Two Titles in a Month
A feature on Segun Moses Torilola
Thursday, August 15, 2002
ITTF Press Release
Segun Moses TORIOLA, the youngest of nine brothers, had a smile on his face as bright as the midday sun in his home town of Abfokuta in Nigeria, after winning the men’s singles title at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
Success over the top seeded Johnny HUANG in the final gave the modest Nigerian star a second major title in the space of a month having been crowned African National Champion in Tunis one month earlier, beating compatriot Monday MEROTOHUN in the final.
“I didn’t intend entering the African Championships” explained TORIOLA. “Tundi OBISANYA, the national coach, thought it would be good preparation for the Commonwealth Games, so I played.’ Certainly it was a wise decision by OBISANYA, himself a player who had represented Nigeria with great distinction in the 1970’s.
Victory over Johnny HUANG already in the team event in Manchester, undoubtedly added to TORIOLA’s confidence. `I know Johnny HUANG well’, said the newly crowned champion. `I’d played him in China at the World Cup and at the Sydney Olympics and on both occasions I’d lost close matches, so I knew it was not so difficult, I knew I had a chance and fortunately I took my chance.’
So what’s next for TORIOLA. First of all it’s the Ostend Open and with such players as Vladimir SAMSONOV and Jean-Michel SAIVE on duty he can test his progress against the very best; however, for he is quite clear about his priorities.
“My main aim is to do well on the ITTF Pro Tour”. Can he qualify for the Grand Finals in Sweden in December? `No, I’ve no chance’, came the reply with a smile that suggested he knows his immediate goals but who knows, the way he’s playing at the moment anything is possible for the modest man from Abfokuta and in topspin to topspin exchanges he can certainly trade with the very best.
Read what others have to say:
Nigeria is Proud
by sam dudu
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