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  • Updated: April 16, 2020

Table Tennis: How Aruna Quadri Inspired My Comeback, Omotayo Opens Up

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Ridwan Yusuf
Ridwan Yusuf

Ridwan is a trained Communicator who provides professional coverage of general news and sports. ...

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Nigeria's sole confirmed male table tennis representative to the future Tokyo Olympic Games, Olajide Omotayo, has revealed that watching African star, Aruna Quadri sensationally beating Germany's Timo Boll in Rio, Brazil four years ago to make history as the first player from the continent to reach the quarter-final of the prestigious tournament 'changed his mindset' about professional table tennis.

Allnews reports that in fact, at that time, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tagged Aruna's victory against the much-fancied Boll 'the biggest upset in Olympic TableTennis history'.

Speaking recently to Latifat Adebayo Ohio, a Sports Content producer, Omotayo who missed out on Nigeria's 2015 African Games squad, disclosed that he struggled with depression which led to him quitting professional Table tennis for nearly a year.

However, months later, the 2013 Asoju Oba Cup table tennis tournament champion would find the motivation to succeed in the sport in Aruna.

"I once quit table-tennis because I was unable to make it to the All African Games held in Congo Brazaville," Omotayo said.

"I was depressed and I decided to go to the US.

"I wasn't playing professionally. I only get money from playing local tournaments in the US.

"There was this day I went to a Korean club to play a tournament which I won.

"As I was about leaving, the coach of the club just called me, 'Come, Aruna is about to play', and I said okay. I don't care if I'm going to miss my bus and train, or if I'm going to get home late. I must watch this match.

"Luckily for Aruna, he won this match against Tim Boll of Germany (at the 2016 Olympic Games: 4-2).

"The following day, after I watched this match, I got this feeling like if Aruna could make it, I could make it.

"This match really motivated me.

"Ever since then, I think my mindset changed."

READ ALSO: ITTF World Rankings: Latest Nigerian Players Standings For April 2020

Allnews understands that Omotayo, 24, who has been stranded in Italy since the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, is now rated No.92 in the world, according to the ITTF World Rankings released today, Thursday by the world's table tennis governing body.

As a matter of fact, among his compatriots, only 20th-placed Aruna is ahead of him in the global rankings.

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Ridwan Yusuf
Ridwan Yusuf

Ridwan is a trained Communicator who provides professional coverage of general news and sports. ...

More From this Author

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