Table Tennis: Sam ready to stage comeback

Author: Kwame Larweh
Bernard Joe Sam

THE captain of the national table tennis team, Bernard Joe Sam, has promised to make a return to active competition in February and he expects to participate in the upcoming National Table Tennis League.

After an eight-month absence from the sport, Sam says he is looking forward to representing the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) team in the Stanbic Bank-sponsored league later in the month.

Sam, who has represented Ghana in three Commonwealth Games, including last year’s competition in the Australian city of Gold Coast, was a key member of the GRA men’s team which finished in eighth position of the league even though he was forced to abandoned the competition midway to attend to duties outside Accra for the Customs Division of GRA. Now, he is eager to make his presence felt in the upcoming competition.

“I have been away for sometime now, but I am back with the aim of capturing the number one spot again and qualify Ghana to the All Africa Games,” he told the Graphic Sports in an interview in Accra.

Sam said he was optimistic his GRA team would give Immigration Service (defending champions) a run for their money when the league gets underway because “we are preparing feverishly for the competition and have also brought on board a new trainers to help us win the league title.”

“We are introducing the services of experts and great technical minds to help us win the upcoming league,” he noted.

Beyond the upcoming league, Sam is also looking forward to this year’s All Africa Games in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where he believes Ghana can do better than the bronze medal the Black Loopers won at the 2015 games in Brazzaville, Congo.

“We are aiming for gold at the games this time around and with hard work, determination and fortitude we can achieve that,” he told this paper.

He pledged to make himself available and contribute towards the growth of ping pong in the country by training young players in his community and also putting his talent at the disposal of the national team.