by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Apart from aiming for a good performance in the Men’s Singles and Under 21 Men’s Singles events, Emmanuel Ofori is looking forward to meeting his idol, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna.
Emmanuel Ofori spoke Nathaniel Kwesi Somuah, Media Officer of Ghana Table Tennis Association.
“Growing up, I had always dreamt of meeting my idols Quadri Aruna, Segun Toriola and Ma Long, all the big names in the world of table tennis. I just can’t believe that this opportunity to play in the Seamaster tournament will pave a way for me to meet in person some of these great players and possibly have a warm up practice with them. They say keep dreaming and working on your dream and it will come to pass one day.
I am young and work hard every day to improve my performance. I want to be the Tomokazu Harimoto of Africa. I need a mentor to guide me and encourage me. I believe the perfect super role model is Quadri Aruna because of his humility, style of play and his technical ability. I want to be like him and replicate his exploits in the Olympic Games.
I was privileged to be selected for the national qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games in Australia early this year. Even though I didn’t qualify, I felt good being recognized as a top player in Ghana and that motivated me to take my training to another level. I don’t joke with my physical training and endurance as this is what will make me fit to play at the top level.
My coach, Ebenezer Whyte, who is the deputy national team coach, has been very instrumental in my development. He has been with me since I started the game. He plans my training programme and makes sure I follow it to the end. He is the one who brought to limelight our number one and best player Derek Abrefa, so I am focused and I know he will guide me to reach greatness.
My training is on course and I will do my best. No matter the stage I reach at the Nigeria Open, the most important thing will be the notes I will be taking back home to develop my young career. I hope to acquire more skills because players from different countries play different styles”.
Emmanuel Ofori must compete in the qualification tournament, in the Men’s Doubles he partners colleague Fredrick Twumasi.