Ajoke Ojomu had featured for Nigeria at World Junior Championships in Morocco and China but her graduation to the senior has been hampered by her studies.
However, the 19-year-old never give up on her chance competing for Nigeria at bigger stage and she proved her superiority during the 2018 National Sports Festival in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital, where she dumped top players including Cecilia Otu-Akpan to emerge as the new Nigeria’s national champion.
It was this singular feat that prompted her inclusion in the Nigeria team to the 2019 World Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
Following several disappointments that had greeted her inclusion in the senior national team of Nigeria, Ajoke Ojomu was not ready to be shocked as she had thought it was another prank that she has been included in the team heading to Hungary.
But her disbelief was quenched when the entire team was granted visa by the Hungarian Embassy in Abuja.
“My studies have been affecting my call-up to the senior team. But after winning the National Sports Festival in December 2018, I was listed in the team coming to Hungary. When I got a call from the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), I had thought it was one of those pranks that had been played in the past that even when we went to the embassy, I did not still believe that I will be going to Hungary. But when the visa came out and I was informed, I now knew it was a reality,” she explained.
Since getting the visa, Ajoke Ojomu went to work with her coaches – Ezekiel David and Muftau Adedokun to ensure she hone her skills in readiness for the Hungary Challenge.
And in her first match in Budapest, Ajoke Ojomu walked away from the table with a lot of smile after a 4-1 win over Luxembourg’s Sarah Meyer. “I did not believe I just won my first game at the World Championship because I was a bit confused when the match started. I could not understand how to return my opponent service as it was a bit odd playing against a player that used pimples in her forehand. But after losing the first game, my coach told me how to demystify her which I followed and this really gave me the confidence to complete the win. This is a major boost to me personally and I dedicate this win to my mother, who has been very supportive and all those who have always been there for me when I was not making the senior team.”
“I know I still have a lot to offer and this win has indeed inspired me to aim high in this tournament. I have also realized that winning points with service is very vital for every player and we were not used to this in Nigeria and I am praying and hoping that I improve my ranking with this competition. The support from my teammates has been awesome because their experience in the game was also helpful to me,” she added.
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