Team Nigeria contingents at the Rio Olympic Games made their presence felt at the competition as the trio of Segun Toriola (table tennis), Aruna Quadri (table tennis) and Chierika Ukogu (rowing/sculls) gave the country something to cheer about with their landmark achievements despite their exit.
Toriola, who advanced to the second round in the male singles on Saturday, was beaten 4-2 by his Japanese challenger, Niwa Koki, on Sunday. But what was interesting was the fact that the 41-year-old tennis star had his 7th appearance in the current Games, equaling the table tennis record. This has made him the most capped African Olympian.
Despite losing 11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 to world number one, Long Ma on Tuesday August 9th, Quadri made history after becoming the first African to reach the quarterfinals of the men’s singles event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 2014 ITTF star had initially beaten fifth seeded player Chih-Yuan Chuang in the third round and German Boll Timo in the fourth to make it to the quarterfinals.
Also, US-based Nigerian rower, Chierika Ukogu, who despite failing to fulfill her aspiration to win a gold medal, after she missed securing a semifinal spot, became Nigeria’s first ever rower in the Olympics to have got that far, placing fifth in the third quarterfinals of the Women’s single sculls after clocking a time of 7:54.44 secs.
Ukogu participated in the semifinals C/D 1 event on Wednesday but couldn’t make it through that stage of the event. This is the 23 year old’s first ever appearance in the Olympics.