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I was so scared of losing to a 12-year-old girl, Oshonaike admits

I was so scared of losing to a 12-year-old girl, Oshonaike admits
May 30
09:43 2017

Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike has revealed that she was scared of getting defeated by her 12-year-old opponent at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The six-time Olympian made the admission after defeating Filipinos Rizumu Ono in a thrilling six games encounter of 15-13, 11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 6-11, 12-10.

“I must tell you that I was really scared wondering what I will tell Nigerians back home, that a 12-year-old girl beat me without knowing that the girl is more talented than her age,” Oshonaike admitted to the ITTF website.

“I must admit that I have never been so nervous like this in my life particularly playing against the young girl who is not even older than my first son who is 14.


“I was so scared because she is so talented that even before the match, I could not sleep well. When the match was 3-2, a lot of thoughts were going through my mind.

“I was just thinking that I should not lose to this girl and if at all I lose, I will not be able to make it to the knockout stage of the competition.

“I thank God I stayed calm and the support from my German fans who travelled from Hamburg to support really helped me.


“But experience was the main secret that saved me from the talented girl. I believe I can now sleep well tonight and hope for victory in the next game to ascertain my place in the knockout round.

“I knew that if I don’t beat her I won’t be able to make it out of the group.”

Olajide Omotayo and Ojo Onaolapo expressed delight at starting the tournament with convincing wins on Monday.

Omotayo defeated Malta’s Daniel Bajada in four sets: 11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.


“I am very proud and privileged to be competing at my first World Championships particularly to have been selected among the millions of talents in Nigeria,” Omotayo said.

“This is a place where the best compete and playing my first match was indeed a memorable moment for me. When I started the match, I was a bit eager to finish quickly but the pep talk from my coach calmed me.

“I am hoping to qualify from the group; winning my first group match would surely motivate me in my next match. My target is to first qualify from the group and see what next I can achieve.

Onaolapo, who defeated Cypriot Christos Savva, said: “I am aiming to advance from the group and I know that starting well is good for me to achieve my first aim in the competition.


“It was not an easy match but I was able to put everything right to claim my desired victory. We are four in the group and I must ensure I made it from the group by winning all my matches.”



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