by Simon Daish
Nigerian table tennis has drawn much attention over the past year with the record-breaking success of Quadri Aruna at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil and with Olufunke Oshonaike having won the Women’s Singles title at the 2016 Africa Senior Championships in Agadir, Morocco.
Ojo Onaolapo is another player who has in the past provided Nigerian fans with plenty of excitement, with his quarter-finals finish at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, and a decent showing at the 2015 Lagos Open where he reached the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event and the final of the Under 21 Men’s Singles. Onaolapo was also a key part of the Nigeria team which won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where he overcame India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta in the deciding match.
The first stop on the 2017 ITTF World Tour calendar is the Hungarian Open in Budapest. Onaolapo, who currently plays his club table tennis in Portugal, is hoping to participate at the season opener with the aim to launch the year in a positive manner:
“The Open will have the best players in table tennis competing and we are all heading into it for a common interest which is to garner points. It is going to be a keen competition and I am preparing for the task.” Ojo Onaolapo.
Another Nigerian table tennis player Olajide Omotayo, who like his fellow compatriot Ojo Onaolapo also represents a European team at club level, has also stated his intentions to take part at the competition in Budapest in the hopes that he is able to evaluate and improve his performances moving forward.
“I know I still have a whole lot to do on myself as a player and this is one avenue for self-development. Aside from club side matches, one needs to have other meens to get better and build up one’s confidence. While doing all these, I will also work on getting points for my ranking.” – Olajide Omotayo.
The 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open will begin on Tuesday 17th January before coming to a conclusion on Sunday 22nd January.