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  • Sports - Other Sports
  • Updated: July 22, 2021

Tokyo 2020: 'Proud' Olajide Omotayo Shares Inspiring Message As He Prepares For First Match

Top Nigerian table tennis player, Olajide Omotayo says he is very proud to be in Tokyo training for his first match in the 2020 Olympic Games, and representing his country.

In a post on his verified Facebook page on Thursday, Omotayo recalls his battle with depression, and how "Quadri Aruna’s match after defeating Timo Boll of Germany at the Rio 2016 Olympics motivated me in a big way to get back in the game".

Table tennis event at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 starts on Saturday July 24.

Omotayo will go up against Tiago Apolonia of Portugal for a place in the men singles second round spot.

Read Omotayo's full update below:

It took me 4 years to get to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. A few years ago I was battling depression, gave up on playing table tennis and relocated to NYC where my mom and sister live.

After watching the Rio 2016 Olympics, it made me think twice about giving up. So I picked myself up and got back in the game. But behind my happy, smiling face lie many struggles and set backs I had to overcome. Facing my struggles head on taught me how to be more resilient and fight for my dreams. Facing my challenges allowed me to grow as a person and as a table tennis player. Today I could not be more proud to be in Tokyo training for my first match in the 2020 Olympic Games, and representing my beloved country ??

My wish is that my story will inspire and motivate so many souls out there. I promise that whatever you set your mind to, YES you can achieve it. I am living testimony and proof if I can do it, you can too.

Quadri Aruna’s match after defeating Timo Boll of Germany at the Rio 2016 Olympics motivated me in a big way to get back in the game. And I have made many sacrifices to get here today. I have not laid eyes on my mom ever since I left NYC 4 years ago. And while it hurts deeply and I think of her and miss her every single day, I know I would not be where I am now without massive sacrifice. Hard work works guys.

My gratitude and love goes to my family and friends who have been supporting me since the beginning of my journey. Thanks also to Aruna Quadri and his wife for always being there to encourage me with words and action, the Nigerian table tennis federation for the privilege to represent my beloved country, which I dearly love so much.

And a very special thank you to my fans all over the globe, I love you.

Now it’s time to get to business and fight for a place in the men singles second round spot. I am playing against Tiago Apolonia from Portugal and now is the time I need you guys the most. Your support and prayers go such a along way. Wish me luck.

Tokyo 2020

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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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