by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interview: Olalekan Okusan)
Romania’s Cristian Pletea was beaten by Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo (11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10); presently Cristian Pletea is named at no.171 on the Men’s World Rankings, Olajide Omotayo is listed at no.566.
It is the biggest upset of the tournament to date; the 21 year old from Lagos offering the Romanian no belated birthday presents. Cristian Pletea celebrated his 17th birthday on Sunday 28th May.
“I knew my opponent is a good player with a lot of experience despite being younger than me. I took time to watch all his matches on YouTube and when the match started it was a bit difficult for me but after winning the first game, I gained confidence. It was a big win to me.” Olajide Omotayo
A major success but Olajide Omotayo is no stranger to the big time. In 2013 he won the Asoju Oba Cup in his home city, an event supported by the late Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas. Not only did he win; the first prize was a Chevrolet saloon car!
In Düsseldorf where Mercedes Benz have offices, there was no such reward; the reward was one of satisfaction.
“I am so happy that in my first appearance I qualified from the group and now I have nothing to lose; with this I have courage that I can beat any player and if I lose I have nothing to lose particularly if such opponent is ranked higher than me.” Olajide Omotayo
Undoubtedly, exited; Olajide Omotayo now advances to the preliminary round.