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ITTF Hails Oshonaike, Toriola, 3 Others For Seven Olympic Appearances Feat

ITTF Hails Oshonaike, Toriola, 3 Others For Seven Olympic Appearances Feat

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has applauded two Nigerian athletes; Olufunke Oshonaike, Segun Toriola, and three others namely; Jean-Michel Saive (Belgium), Jörgen Persson (Sweden) and Zoran Primorac (Croatia) for their seven appearances, each, at the Olympic Games.

The 2024 Paris Olympics is billed to get underway from July 26 till August 10.

According to a statement released by the World Table Tennis ruling body, the Olympic Games is a breeding ground for legends, but within this elite company exists an even more exclusive circle – Club 7.

“These aren’t your average Olympians; they are the table tennis titans who have defied age, competition, and the odds to compete a staggering seven times on the grandest sporting stage.

“Seven Olympic appearances is a testament to an athlete’s unwavering dedication and exceptional talent. These players have dedicated years of relentless training, honing their skills to compete at the highest level. With the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the legendary Timo Boll is poised to join this elite club, further solidifying Club 7’s status as a mark of true table tennis greatness,” the world body said.

Oshonaike being the only female in the Club 7 featured at the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020).

“As a true trailblazer, Oshonaike isn’t just the only woman in Club 7, she’s also the first African female player ever to achieve this feat. Her unwavering determination and fierce spirit have not only seen her represent Nigeria at every Olympics since Atlanta 1996 but also inspired countless young athletes across the continent,” ITTF stated.

For Toriola, the world body said the African Games table tennis record holder featured at the Olympic Games in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 set the pace for others to follow and he has been joined in the Club 7 by Oshonaike as a pioneer for African table tennis.

“Toriola wasn’t just a phenomenal player, but a history-maker. His exceptional footwork and powerful forehand helped him become the first African to reach the Men’s Singles quarterfinals at the Olympics (Beijing 2008), solidifying his place as a Nigerian sporting legend,” the world body stated.

Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive features in the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Game’s.

Legendary Swedish star Jörgen Persson, described as a cool and collected table tennis player, competed at the Olympic Games in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Croatia’s Zoran Primorac who represented both Yugoslavia and Croatia throughout his career, featured in the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games.

By Dotun Omisakin


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • pompei 1 week ago

    7 Olympics. Wow!

  • Dr. Drey 1 week ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the likes of Bose Kaffo and Edem Offiong too are still a part of our table tennis contingent to the Olympics.

    This is just a shred of evidence that sports development has generally stalled in Nigeria.

    And rather than Mr Clueless Sports Minister sit his clueless ass down in his office and focus on his job of developing sports in the country…..he goes junketting to Europe with yet another clueless NFF president to conduct virtual interviews for prospective SE coaches.

    Pray tell me, what is the credential of Mr Enoh (or whatever his name is called) to be interviewing coaches for the national team…???

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