By Olalekan Okusan
Olajide Omotayo debut at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ended early after the Nigerian was beaten by Portugal’s Apolonia Tiago in the first round of the men’s singles of table tennis event.
Omotayo failed to make use of his youthfulness against the ageing Portuguese as the 2019 African Games champion was dominated throughout the encounter.
To exit the tournament, Omotayo fell 7-11, 9-11, 6-11, 5-11.
Omotayo joined Olufunke Oshonaike as the second Nigerian to exit the table tennis event.
Oshonaike, a record-setter at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games lost 4-1 to American Juan Liu in the preliminary round of the women’s singles of the table tennis event.
Despite starting well against the Chinese-born American, Oshonaike could not meet up with the speed of her left-handed opponent to bow out in 7-11, 3-11, 4-11, 13-11, 4-11 to become the first Nigerian to exit in the table tennis event.
Oshonaike however ruled herself out of the next Olympic Games in Paris while promising to represent Nigeria in major tournaments.
Like Oshonaike, Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou, Tunisia’s Garci Fadwa and Egypt’s Yousra Helmy were all shown the exit door in the table tennis event.
However, Offiong Edem brought cheering news to Nigeria as the Spanish-based athlete defeated her Hungarian counterpart 4-1 to advance to the second round of the women’s singles.