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Men’s Doubles silver excites Omotayo, Solanke at WTT Contender Lagos

Men’s Doubles silver excites Omotayo, Solanke at WTT Contender Lagos

For the first time in the history of the WTT Series, Nigeria’s duo of Olajide Omotayo and Azeez Solanke became the first Africans and Nigerians to play in the final of WTT Contender Lagos after losing to India’s Hameet Desai and Manav Thakkar in the final of the Men’s Doubles event.

Before hitting the final, Omotayo and Solanke had edged out superpower China in the semifinal to the admiration of the Lagos fans and they put up a good fight against the Indians in the final but the experience of the Asians came to the fore in the encounter.

An excited Omotayo said after the final that he would continue to partner with Solanke following the understanding between them.

“It is a great achievement for us and from now henceforth we will practice and play more tournaments together and hopefully we can improve. 

“Today, we lost down to errors and a bit of inconsistency, but we have a long way to go, and I know we have a bright future in the doubles event. The Lagos fans should know that we want the win as much as they want it, and getting to the finals is a big win for the continent,” Omotayo said.

Like Omotayo, Solanke however, relished playing with Omotayo.

“It is a privilege playing alongside Omotayo, and this is the second time we played doubles together. The first time, it was difficult for us, and now we have reached the finals. Automatically, I know that if we keep playing and training in the doubles together, we can achieve more wins,” the former national junior champion said.

Savouring the all-important semifinal win over the Chinese duo of Fei Junhang and Luo Jiecheng,

Omotayo said: “It is a big win for the whole continent, not just Nigeria. A win against the Chinese team is unbelievable and shocking.  

A speechless Solanke simply said: “I’m speechless because it’s a dream come true for me. I was nervous because I didn’t want us to lose, and I tried to always play safe. I put the ball on the table but sometimes my teammate told me to do something.

“I saw different things and I changed from what he told me which sometimes made us lose points but he always told me to do what he said and I always tried to put the ball where he directs me, so glory be to God we won.”

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