As the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Nigeria Open served off in Lagos, Nigeria’s Jide Omotayo, says he is determined to improve his performance in the 2017 edition and reach the top 16 finish.
One hundred and Seventy players are participating in the tournament holding in the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12.
Omotayo, who plies his trade in Europe, revealed his target was to perform credibly in the matches and progress to the top 16 which he had yet to achieve since the inception of the tournament in 2014.
“I have featured in the past editions but my participation this time around is with a strong determination and the target to make the top 16 finish which I have not achieved.
“I know that hard work, experience, prayers and determination are required to be successful in ones chosen career which to a reasonable extent, I have committed myself to during my preparations,” he said.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist said that his target compelled him to train rigorously and receive mentoring from notable Nigerian foreign-based players during his buildup for the annual tournament.
“I have featured in couple of editions of this tournament and major international Games in addition to regular competitions in my club which have helped my exposure and boosted my skill.
“My big brothers and mentors in the sport, Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri are wonderful, I have train with them on several occasions and my techniques have improved,” he added.
Omotayo, a player with ASD Norbello Tennis Tavola of Italy, said he was battle-ready to compete with the ITTF top ranked players from other countries in the five-day tournament.
The highest paid tournament under the ITTF Challenge has 46,000 dollars as prize money and also has 170 players from 72 countries participating.