Queen of the court, Yemisi Olatunji says with hardwork and dedication, her sister, Busayo Olatunji could discrown her in future.
As a guest on Sports Info on Eko 89.7 FM on Thursday, the older Olatunji, 24, spoke on her rivalry with her sister, especially in the past year where they met in the finals of the Prime Atlantic PSA National Closed Satelite in Ikoyi, Lagos and OTrafford Squash Club’s PSA National Closed Satelite Tournament in Outer Marina, Lagos Island, both in December.
“I was introduced to the game of squash in 2004. Two years after, I became devoted to the game.”
“It was not easy for me when I started this sport. But my father was supportive. My mother was aversed to my decision. She believed as a lady, I ought to go to school and become a lawyer, doctor, etcetera. But today, they are enjoining it.”
Yemisi expects her sister to usurp her in the nearest future.
“She (Busayo) is working hard and she is focused. I believe one day it will happen.”
Nigeria and West Africa No. 1, Olatunji Sr. states of the past year: “2018 was truly a remarkable year for me. Among top honour I claimed in 2018 are Safeguard Zimbabwe Squash International Open, Prime Atlantic Close Satellites (PSA), Old Trafford Close Satellites (PSA) and National Sports Festival double gold. In fact, winning the Racket Sportsperson of The Year award (Nigerian Sports Awards) in Aruna Quadri‘s stead was surprising.
“But we can achieve more in this sport if given the needed support – from government to corporate bodies to philanthropists. There are lots of good professional squash players in this country.
“I do say this: the platform given to football should be given to sports in general – not even squash alone. If adequate support is afforded other sports, then you’d see them thriving and doing the country proud.”
‘THIS YEAR IS MY YEAR!’ – BUSAYO
Busayo, 19 whose squash journey began in 2009 after previously trying tennis stated emphatically on the show that 2019 is going to be her year.
“In the game of squash, when you are inside the court, no family game. Its more or less like you are foes. At the Zimbabwe Open (2018), actually, I went all out for victory, but unfortunately, I lost to her (Yemisi) in the final. In my thought, it is not my time yet. But this year is my year!
“My number one target in 2019 is my sister (Yemisi),” she declares with some laughter.
Ajani Ibukunoluwa, who clashed with Olatunji Sr. of Team Lagos at the National Sports Festival in the Round of 32 last December in Abuja acknowledges Yemisi who has not lost a game at home in 5 years is ahead of her contemporaries.
She simply put: “When I saw the pairing, I knew I was going to lose.”
The athlete representing Ogun state concludes: “I hope to catch up though and be in the top 4 this year.”
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