02 Apr 2017

At the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Ojo Onaolapo excelled all expectations; he powered his way to the quarter-final stage of Men’s Singles event. Likewise at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, his efforts were pivotal to Nigeria in their bronze medal Men’s Team success.

In the crucial contest to determine third place against India; after partnering Segun Toriola to doubles success against Amalraj Anthony and Harmeet Desai, he overcame Sharath Kamal Achanta to seal a memorable three-one victory.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Following the success in the Scottish city, Ojo Onaolapo, who plays for ADC Ponta Do Pargo in the Portuguese League, aims to repeat the form enjoyed in Singapore and Glasgow at the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf. Proceedings in the German city commence on Monday 29th May.

He spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-Africa Press Officer

I am so happy that I have another opportunity to prove myself in this big arena. I want to re-enact my Commonwealth Games feat again by giving 100 percent commitment to the team. I want to win back my fans by doing better than what I did at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

This is a big tournament and the best players in the world are expected in Germany. I want to play better and justify my inclusion in the Nigerian team.

The Nigerian team is among the best in the world. Players are selected based on merit and recent performances. You are not selected based on your previous performances but based on your current outings and this makes it more difficult for any player to make the team.

My target in Düsseldorf is to qualify from the group before thinking of the next thing. I must say that Quadri Aruna has shown us the way to beat the best in the game. He has made us realise that anything is possible as long as you remain focused and work hard; his humility and dedication to the sport are among the lessons I have picked up from him.

So for me, I fear nobody and I look forward to a good outing as anything is possible in table tennis.

I played one season in Italy; I think the Italian League is a stepping stone to a bigger League in Europe. The structure in Italy is good and the standard is high but the quality of players in Portugal cannot be compared to the ones in Italy. We have fantastic players in the Portuguese League and this makes it more competitive and challenging for players like us.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Ojo Onaolapo

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