Nigeria’s highest ranked squash star in the world, Yemisi Olatunji is targeting a top finish at the 2018 Calgary Professional Squash Association (PSA) Women’s Championships holding in Canada come March 8 to 11. The 2017 Zimbabwe Open champion will be accompanied by Sodiq Taiwo, her coach and Nigeria’s number one male star.

The world ranking tournament is a $15,000 prize money event and it is holding in Calgary, Canada with some of the world’s best including England’s Fiona Moverley ranked 24thin the world topping the seeding list.

Olatunji, a bronze medalist at the 2017 Namibia Open said being her first international tournament in 2018, she is targeting to attain the top 100 in the world this year. “I am looking forward to the tournament because I am hoping that by the end of 2018, I want to make it to the top 100 in the world. I know it is a tall order but I am eager to feature in at least six PSA sanctioned tournaments so that I can amass ranking points as well as get more exposure,” she said.

With support from the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) and backing of foremost squash enthusiast – Dayo Awobokun, Olatunji said the trip would not have been possible without the support of Captain Dayo Awobokun and the NSF, while hoping that sponsors would come to the aid of the players to be able to attend more tournaments.

“It is a known fact that Nigeria is blessed with talents in squash but the major hindrance has been sponsorship, the different between us and our foreign counterparts is exposure. Most of our counterparts attend not less than eight tournaments in a year, while few of us attend very few tournaments within the continent. As it is, we have few tournaments in Africa. But countries like United States has a lot of PSA tournaments and series taking place every week. If we can travel to the US and stay for a few months to take part in these tournaments, we can rub shoulders with any player in the world,” the 2016 Lagos Classics Champion added.

For the President of NSF, Boye Oyerinde, attending this kind of tournament would surely help the players to improve their world rating as well as put them in shape for this year’s Lagos Classic. “We are hoping to have more of our players attend this kind of tournament that Olatunji and Taiwo will be attending in Canada next month. Apart from gaining ranking points, they will get more exposure and experience from competing at a big stage like that,” the NSF boss said

 

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