WTT Contender: Nigeria’s Oyeniyi, Yiyun others lose in qualifying round 2

Agency Report

Nigeria’s female player, Kehinde Oyeniyi, has lost to Izebela Lupulesku of Serbia at the ongoing World Table Tennis Contender Series at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Oyeniyi was defeated by 3-0 in the best of five games in the qualifying round two of the women’s singles.

She noted that this was her first experience playing an international game.

She added that she would learn from the experience while making good use of all she had learnt.

“This is my first time playing in this kind of competition.

“I am very excited, when I was playing, I noticed some of my mistakes that I need to correct and this means I will need to put in more work,” she said.

Lupulesku in her excitement said she was tensed at the beginning of the match.

She said first matches were usually tough because opponents could not be predicted.

“It is my first time in Nigeria as I was recently in Durban, South Africa, for the World Championships. I had also visited Cape Town as well.

“Before the match, I was a bit stressed because the first match is always very difficult and playing against a Nigerian player as the fans were supporting her.

“I was a bit under pressure but as the match progressed, I felt better to win the match.

“I love playing in this kind of atmosphere and I look forward to my next match,” she said.

Also, Yang Ha Eun of South Korea also defeated Yang Yiyun of China 3-1 in the qualifying round.

Ha Eun said the match was her first time playing in Africa.

“This is my first time in Lagos, Nigeria, and also my first time in Africa, so this is a good experience.

“I hope I have a good game. I also think Nigeria is a country that is good at their sports.

“I am so happy to win this first round, and I want to win more games,” she said.

Jules Rolland of France defeated Adeola Oloruntade of Nigeria 3-0 in the qualifying round two of the men’s singles.

He said the fans supported the Nigerian player and that made him tense at the beginning of the match.

“Playing here is very different because people are always supporting players from Nigeria and they are like 100 per cent behind them.

“So, when I played my first match against a Nigerian player, it was very difficult because I was not playing only against my opponent but against all the people in the hall.

“It was very difficult, but I managed to play well in this match. So, I’m happy,” he said.

Anders Lind of Denmark won the second round of the men’s singles qualifying match against Seongil Jang of North Korea 3-2 in the best of seven games.

He said Jang had won the first two matches, noting that he had to put all his strength into the game to ensure he won the match.

“To be down 2-0 and to recover and win a match is always very good.

“It showed mental strength even though this is not one of my proudest performances this year.

“I am still very proud that I came back and won this match.

“Being my first time in Lagos, my experience overall is okay and the people are very polite and friendly,” he said.

The WTT Contender series holds from June 12 to 18.

NAN

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