I want to be in world’s top 50 – Omotayo
Nigerian table tennis star, Olajide Omotayo, has stated his desire to break into the top 50 ranked players in the world in 2020.
In an interview with our correspondent, Omotayo said he wants to build on his achievements in 2019, which he described as his best year ever, by gaining more grounds.
Omotayo surpassed all expectations by winning the gold medal at the Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco, defeating three former champions Segun Toriola, Ahmed Saleh and Quadri Aruna on his way to clinching the title.
He also spoke about his desire to represent Nigeria at more tournaments and bring back home more laurels.
“2019 was a breakthrough year for me and I want to thank the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation for always being there for me, supporting me and my family,” Omotayo told The PUNCH.
“I know there are still a lot out there for me to achieve and this year 2020 is the Olympic year for athletes and the NTTF team have not qualified for the Olympics, so, we are going to
Portugal this month to participate in the qualification tournament and hopefully, we will come out successful.
“I am also going to put in more work, now, I am ranked 86th in the world, which means I need to stay more focused and practise more. I need to attend many tournaments and play so many pro-tours this year. I’m hoping to improve my standard, and by the end of this year, I am targeting to be in the top 50 in the world.
“I am ready for 2020; 2019 was a year I won’t forget in my life because I won the biggest title in Africa. That was even my first time attending the tournament. Since I was young, I had been hoping to participate at the Africa Games and the Olympics and here we are, I had my first opportunity and I went there to win the title.
“It was really a big one for me, and I am really happy and I am proud of myself. This year, it’s the Olympic season, and I will be happy if I can qualify for the Olympics and make Nigeria proud in Japan,” he added.
The qualification tournament for the Olympics will hold in Porto, Portugal from January 22 to 26.