Some of the best Nigerian sportsmen have come from table tennis with names like Aruna Quadri, Segun Toriola, Olajide Omotayo and Offiong Edem to name a few.
Table tennis fans have watched these super humans entertain them on the table for years and generations. But who have been the best and greatest players to have played the table game in Nigeria?
Here is a list of the top 5 Nigerian table tennis players of all time:
5. Olufunke Oshonaike
While many believe she should retire as she is well past her best, Olufunke Oshonaike remains one of Nigeria’s best, currently ranked number 3.
Born in Lagos, Oshonaike started out in the suburb of Somolu and became an Olympic Games veteran having represented Nigeria and Africa seven (7) times.
Oshonaike has seven (7) gold medals, six (6) silver medals and four (4) medals to his name all from the African Games to justify his inclusion in the greatest Nigerian table tennis players of all time.
4. Bose Kaffo
Another Lagos-born star, Bose Kaffo, who may not be a household name to many, comes in at number four.
Kaffo is a fivefold Olympiad, tied with the golden lady herself, Mary Onyali, of athletics.
Kaffo is a multiple African Games champion, with seven (7) gold medals to her illustrious name from 1987 to 2008. She is also a mixed doubles champion with another legendary player, Atanda Musa.
3. Segun Toriola
Born 48 years ago in Ilorin, Kwara State, Segun Toriola is one of the best to have played football not only from Nigeria but also from Africa. He is among the Top 3 best Nigerian table tennis players of all time.
Since 1995, it has dominated the table tennis scene in the country and has remained a dominant force on the continent as well.
The former Nigerian and African number 1 (multiple times) remains one of the most decorated Nigerians in the game. He is also one of only two to have competed in the Olympics seven times.
2. Aruna Quadri
Aruna Quadri is one of the names on this list that needs little to no introduction given his current position as one of the top table tennis players in Nigeria, Africa and the world.
Just like Toriola, who was his partner in men’s doubles, Aruna Quadri is the current darling of table tennis in Nigeria and Africa.
Currently ranked number 11 in the ITTF World Rankings, Aruna peaked at number 10 in May, becoming the first and only Africa to enter the Top 10 of the ITTF World Rankings.
Aruna is also an Olympic quarter-finalist and set several records, including becoming the only African to qualify for the final four at the WTT Star Contender in Doha, Qatar.
1. Atanda Moussa
Before the duo of Aruna and Toriola, Atanda Musa was the biggest star on the Nigerian table tennis courts.
Aged 62 (today), Atanda is considered one of the biggest (if not the biggest) table tennis star in Nigeria.
He remains one of the most decorated players of all time, with multiple Commonwealth singles and mixed doubles gold medals. He is also a 10-time African singles champion and reached No. 20 in the ITTF World Rankings at his peak.
Another worthy mention is Kasali Lasissi, the former National, African and Commonwealth champion. Lasisi started his journey in 1965 before saying goodbye to the game in 1981. He is also the former captain of the Nigerian table tennis team.
In women’s singles, Offiong Edem, current number 2 and number one ranked Fatimo Bello, are the ladies holding out right now.