Table tennis sensation, Omotayo, shifts base to Europe, eyes international laurels

To continue to sharpen his skills ahead of major international tournaments, table tennis teenage sensation, Olajide Omotayo has shifted his training base to Italy with the aim of claiming laurels for Nigeria at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
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Omotayo, who made headline recently at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-organised World Junior Championships held in Rabat, Morocco is now honing his skills in Latina, Italy.

Aside his training programme, the Asoju Oba cup champion will be testing his might against some of the world’s best at the inaugural Swiss Premier League serving off in 2014.

Speaking from his base, the 2012 National Sports Festival gold medalist said: “ I am currently training in Italy while I will be playing the division one league in Switzerland. I would have loved to go to France or Germany instead because they have stronger leagues than Italian and Switzerland league. I chose to play in Switzerland and Italy because I want to start from the scratch, as I may not be able to cope with the players playing in division one in France and Germany for now.

Beginning with this will help improve my game so that I can compete very well with top players in major international competitions.”

With his enterprising style of play coupled with excellent footwork, Omotayo dazzled in Morocco and for him, winning diadems for Nigeria at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games remains one of his priorities in the game.

“I have all it takes to become one of the world’s best because I am still a young having won series of laurels at cadet, junior and senior levels in Nigeria. Even though I have loved to win more before leaving and I know with God by my side I will make Nigeria proud,” he explained.

Continuing he said: “I want to win laurels for Nigeria in events such as Commonwealth, All Africa and Olympics Games. I am also aiming to become the first Nigerian player to win the World championship and Olympics medals,” he said.

Listing some of the skills he picked up in Morocco, Omotayo said: “I learn a lot of things from the Morocco World Junior Championships like the different styles and technique especially the Asian players because they are so fast, mobile, accurate and strong on the table.”

For him, leaving Nigeria to Italy was the best decision he made this year.
“I feel so happy leaving Nigeria at a tender age and playing abroad for a professional club as this will enable me to be a good player in future because I have all it takes like facilities, equipment as well as a personal coach, which I was lacking while in Nigeria,” he enthused.