2019 African Games Table Tennis Champion, Omotayo Olajide told www.aclsports.com that he almost gave up on attending the Olympics four years ago.
The 25 years old player clinched an Olympic ticket in Table Tennis in his debut appearance at the forthcoming games in Tokyo.
Olajide revealed that Aruna Quadri and Italy based coach; Michael Oyebode helped him rejuvenate his passion for Table Tennis.
The Commonwealth silver medallist said practice for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics commenced more than three years ago with his social media pages reading “Tokyo 2020” ever since.
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He said, “I am happy and grateful to God almighty for taking me this far in my chosen career. Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been my dream and I am glad I was able to qualify for it.
“For record purposes, I was in the United States 4 years ago watching Aruna Quadri at Rio 216 Olympics. I gave up my dreams of becoming a professional Table Tennis player and I decided to move to the United States.
“After watching Aruna Quadri play in the quarter finals of the event, I started having this feeling that I can also get back on my feet and pursue my dreams. The vision became clearer when Coach Michael Oyebode was able to secure a club for me in Italy.
“I have been practicing and trying to improve my standard every day by day with the hope of playing at the next Olympics, even my Whatsapp status have been Tokyo 2020 for the past 4 years”.
He re-emphasised that winning gold at the 2019 African Games in Morocco was a big plus in his Table Tennis career.
Olajide said he will not be under pressure to play at Tokyo Olympics.
He revealed that his parents especially his mother has been praying relentlessly for him to succeed.
He said, “For me it is really a big honor to eventually become an Olympian but I think I will never forget how everything went down in Morocco, winning the biggest African title was really a big one for my career.
“I am going to the Olympics to play at my best without having any pressure and I know for sure that it is going to be hard but there is nothing God cannot do. My target is to play at my best and I know once this happens, I can be able to win matches.
“The reason why I praised my mother on my social media page is because she always prays for me. She wants the best for me and I am sure I just made both my parents proud by qualifying”