by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
The goal in Budapest is very much to exceed the efforts of two years ago in Düsseldorf when, in the qualification tournament, he notably beat Romania’s Cristian Pletea, before losing to Chile’s Gustavo Gomez.
“My preparation began immediately the season started. I always list the tournaments I will participate in and start working both physically and mentally. I am now practising at the Italian Training Centre which has really helped me a lot. I have a target and I’m happy I am on the right path to achieve my mission this year. I just want to go out there and be myself; have a good tournament and watch matches which I believe will help me. The journey to the top is still far but I’m ready to give all have got.” Olajide Omatayo
Undoubtedly, the 23 year old is an exciting player, he executes his skills in an uninhibited manner; just as two years ago he could cause upsets in the early stages.
“I can’t really say much about my target because it is getting more difficult now due to the knock-out system of play. I’m just going there to do my thing and fight till the end. My target is to go there and perform well because a good result can only come if only an athlete performs well. I’m just going to think about bringing out the best in myself at this tournament; results will come thereafter and I believe I can do it.” Olajide Omatayo
A motivated young man and motivated by the exploits of colleague Quadri Aruna and Egypt’s Omar Assar.
“Africans are still struggling but we have a never-say-die attitude when it comes to fighting on the court. Quadri Aruna and Omar Assar are good examples for upcoming players like me. We all know that Quadri Aruna reached the quarter-final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, while Omar Assar produced good results at the World Championship in Paris, France a few years ago. I know with this, I know that African players will break the jinx of not making it to the podium someday.” Olajide Omotayo
Presently Olajide Omotayo is named at no.136 on the men’s world rankings.