Nigeria’s record Olympian, Segun Toriola, has revealed that he shunned coaching offers from several countries while at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The seven-time Olympian became Africa’s first athlete to achieve such feat when he represented Nigeria in the table tennis event of the Rio Olympics.
The 42-year-old however, contrary to expectations, said he still wants to continue playing for the country.
“Some countries approached me in Rio to take up the full-time job as national team coach, but I turned all the requests down as I am not ready to quit,” he told the ITTF website.
“My recognition by the IOC at the Rio Olympics was a very good one and recognition of my achievements. This serves as a motivation for the youthful table tennis players and a boost for them to work hard and do well in their career. They now know that when they distinguish themselves, they would be recognised by the international sports federations.
“The fear of not having any top rated Nigerian player doing well at the international circuit for a long time was one of the reasons I prolonged my playing career in table tennis. I was scared of not having quality players to hand over to when I retire.
“But with the emergence of Aruna Quadri, I can now retire peacefully with the rest of mind that, there is somebody worth the salt, who can continue from where I stopped, but this won’t happen until after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I am still very active and even the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation have asked me to continue.”