2019 African Games Table Tennis Champion, Omotayo Olajide told www.aclsports.com that he was proud of making his Olympic debut at the ongoing Tokyo2020 Olympics.
Olajide spoke after his 4-0 (11-7 11-9 11-6 11-5) singles match defeat to Tiago Apolonia of Portugal that he will work on his errors and bounce back at the next Olympics in Paris.
The 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist said he almost gave up in the race to the Tokyo Olympics four years ago but got encouraged by individuals who believed in him.
He said, “After the defeat, I felt sad but I am really proud of myself making it to the Olympics. I prepared so hard for the Olympic Games, the outcome was not encouraging but what can I do. I have accepted my defeat and I am going back to make corrections, fix my errors and come back stronger.
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“Four years ago, I never believed I could qualify for the Olympics; now that I know I have the potentials of making it to the biggest sporting event in the world; I will triple my efforts and focus on Paris 2024 Olympics. My journey has not ended because there are a lot of international tournaments including the Olympics”.
“After the pandemic, I thought the Tokyo Olympics would never happen but I am happy the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan were able to make it work even though we stayed more than one year”, Olajide told www.aclsports.com
Olajide said preparations for the forthcoming season will begin in earnest adding that he will feature at the African Championship and World Championship respectively.
He said, “Later this year, I have various tournaments to play but I need to take a break and visit my family in Nigeria before preparing for my next season in France, the African Championship in Cameroon and World Championship in Texas. Life is about to be fun and tough for me, I just have to buckle up, sit tight and enjoy the ride”.
“For the Commonwealth Games, I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will allow the United Kingdom host it. I have a year to practice and prepare myself; everything is okay on the side and I will improve. We should know that results do not always come so fast, we have to the patience and I am optimistic that the result will come. I am a born winner, I believe 100% in myself and the results will definitely come”.