15 Mar 2017

On Saturday 30th November 2013, Olajide Omotayo hit the headlines; he won the Men’s Singles title on home soil at the 45th Asoju Oba Cup in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

One of the reasons why he became news was that at the time he was still in the junior ranks, he was only 18 years old; the second reason was that he secured a prize which some more well-known names in the world of table tennis would have been more than delighted to receive.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

He won a brand new Chevrolet saloon car!

Soon after Olajide Omotayo departed for Rabat in Morocco to compete in the 2013 World Junior Championships; he continued to impress and gained a place in the Nigerian team for last year’s ITTF-African Championships.

Notably, was a member of the squad which gained silver in the Men’s Team event, whilst in the Men’s Singles competition, he did not gave the most favourable draw. He was beaten in round two by Egypt’s Omar Assar but he could take pride in his efforts; he extended the champion elect to five games (11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Now the 21 year old will be on duty at the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championship to be staged in Düsseldorf, Germany from Monday 29th May 29 to Monday 5th June.

It is for Olajide Omotayo, whose aim is to gain a top 100 World Ranking, this year, a great honour; not only the represent his country, also it is a great privilege to line up alongside Segun Toriola and Quadri Aruna.

Furthermore; Olajide Omotayo is no stranger to competing in Europe. Currently, he represents ASD Marcozzi in the Second Division of the Italian National League; the team is currently in top spot with three matches left to play.

Olajide Omotayo spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-Africa Press Officer.

I feel happy and excited being included in the team to go the World Championship in Germany because it will boost my game and I will also get the chance to play so many matches with different players from all over the world. Being my first appearance; it really motivates me and I think about this every day at training because it is one of the biggest tournaments in table tennis.

This is not my first time of playing in Germany because I represented my former Italian club in the ETTU Cup when we played against a team in Dobeln. I can still recall that the feeling was unbelievable with so many spectators present to cheer the teams and players. It was an awesome experience playing in front of the German fans.

It is a big honour being in the same team as Segun Toriola, the living legend and the most decorated player in Africa. I can remember the impact of the African Championships in Morocco last year made on my career, particularly having Segun Toriola and Quadri Aruna as advisers was a great benefit because of their valuable experience in the game.

I am going to Germany to give100 percent and I am hoping for a good outing.  My target is to qualify from the groups and see what happens next; everybody coming to the championship is the best of the best. So I am going there without any fear to do what I know how to do best. I believe with God nothing is impossible.

Playing in Europe has added so much to my game in terms of technique, service and footwork. Playing league matches helps a lot and having a good coach behind you while training is very important because you cannot see all your mistakes by yourself.

Also everything in Europe is well organized and co-ordinated.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Olajide Omotayo

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