The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Youth, Junior and Cadet Championship climaxes on Saturday at the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra with the hosts failing to win a medal.
As far as the medal haul is concerned, it could be said to a disappointing competition for Ghana’s young talents who showed a lot of promise but were outclassed by their opponents, with Nigeria and Egypt looking strongest among participating teams.
Ghana’s Emmanuel Ofori failed to carry the team to the next stage of the U-21 (Youth) team event after losing 1-3 to Egypt.
There was high expectations among Ghanaian fans that the continental competition would be as successful as the world junior and cadet competition the preceding week where 13-year-old prodigy, Ibrahim Gado Nuhu scooped Ghana’s only gold medal in the world cadet event.
This week, fellow youngsters Solomon Danso, Judith Acheampong, Belinda Dei-Sam Augustina Baidoo and Augustine Baidoo all fell short of advancing to the next stage of the competition.
Today, as singles finals for Under-21 boys and U-21 girls singles, as well as singles finals for Under-18 boys and U-18 girls are staged, Nigeria’s Aziz Solanke and Egypt’s Mahmoud Helmy will take centre stage as they clash in the gold medal match for the boys’ Under 21 singles.
A major highlight for the host was when promising star Emmanuel Ofori beat Egyptian Omar Gamal 3-0 in the Under-21 team event but Ghana eventually lost 3-1 overall.
The Egypt Under-21 team, which have some of their players playing in leagues in Europe, were the talk of the competition and their progress in the competition came as little surprise.
It has been a show for the continent’s next generation of stars with nearly 100 players showcasing their talent in the sport and putting table tennis on the front burner.