Oye Jemiyo never stops smiling
Photo By: Rachelle Weber
The avowed aim for Abisoye Jemiyo, always known as Oye, is to gain a place in the Great Britain squad for the Rio de Janeiro 2012 Paralympic Games; his task is to impress Gorazd Vecko, the Performance Manager.
At the Mike Dempsey Memorial Para Table Tennis Tournament in San Diego, on the first day of play, Thursday 29th November, he did just that; he remained unbeaten and finished in first place in his group in the Men’s Singles Class 2 event.
Taking note was Gorazd Vecko; he is the Technical Director for the three day tournament being staged at the spacious Town and Country Club.
He beat Korea’s Na Jong Jae in his opening match in a full distance five games duel (11-5, 2-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3), before rather more comfortably accounting for Mexico’s Gabriel Zaldivar (11-8, 11-6, 11-6) and the host country’s James Segrest (11-9, 11-9, 12-10).
Three successes mean he has booked a semi-final place.
Long Pimples Caused Problems
“The first match today against Na Jong Jae was very difficult”, said Oye Jemiyo. “He had long pimples on the backhand, he used the long pimples time and again when serving, I made a lot of mistakes; the second game in particular, I only scored two points, I had no idea in which direction he was going to serve!”
Nevertheless, Oye Jemiyo found solutions.
“After losing a close fourth game I told myself that I had to be positive; that’s how I won the first game”, continued Oye Jemiyo. “I tried to serve fast and aim for the corners and I eventually managed to win.”
A close first match, the next two duels saw straight games successes.
“Gabriel Zaldivar was strong from the backhand, so I played down-the-line to his forehand as much as possible”, continued Oye Jemiyo. “Against James Segrest I led 8-3 in the third game; then lost my concentration; he levelled at 10-all, I focused on playing to the corners to win the last two points.”
Practises in North of England
Born in the Nigerian capital city of Lagos, Oye Jemiyo moved to England in 1994 when 19 years old; he is now 37 years of age and lives in Bradford in the north of the country where he is coached by Stephen Horsfield, one of the leading players in the region.
“I practise in Bradford and sometimes go the National Training Centre in Sheffield”, explained Oye Jemiyo; the two cities are not far distant.
Left handed, Oye Jemiyo has a most effective forehand top spin and he is the entertainer; always he smiles and he makes everyone smile.
It’s now over ten years since I took a group of players to the Ostend Open in Belgium, most were young players; Oye was a member of the party and within seconds the most popular member!
The abiding memory is leaving the ferry as it docked in Ostend; there was a ramp of some 30 or so metres.
Ignored Speed Limit
In his wheelchair, in top gear, he went down the ramp as though driving a Formula One racing car; every member of the group stood in fear waiting for an almighty crash of metal.
The only person singing and celebrating was Oye! Somehow, he stopped in the nick of time, turned to the group and smiled!
How he stopped, nobody knows how, nobody was brave enough to look!
Paid Own Expenses
Over a decade later he is more ambitious than ever in his career; he is determined to be in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and he has paid the airfare and all expenses in order to travel to San Diego.
Now he seeks support to continue his travels and has opened a website in order to reach his avowed goal.
Website for Rio de Janeiro 2016
Visit www.road-2-rio.co.uk or contact Oye Jemiyo by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He seeks your support in his efforts to achieve his goal.
Light up Rio de Janeiro
The goal is the 2016 Paralympic Games and should he succeed one fact is certain; his smile will light up the Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
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