Ping-pong: Discovery Series 1 unearths new talents

BY: Kwame Larweh
Mr Mawuko Afadzinu presenting the prizes to Godwin Alabi (right)

More than 300 table tennis talents sold out a thrilling spectacle at the National Youth Table Tennis Championships staged at the Dayaran Gangaram (D.G) Hathiramani Hall of the Accra Stadium last Saturday.

The youngsters displayed grit, skills and in-depth knowledge of the game, while new talents were discovered in the process to the admiration of the Ghana table Tennis Association (GTTA).

The players converged at the hall for the novelty tournament dubbed: ‘Discovery Series 1, Talent meets Opportunity’.

New talents and winners
Played in four different age categories - Under-21, Under-18, Under-15 and Under-11, the competition which witnessed nine ping-pong tables in the Hathiramani Hall for the first time afforded the GTTA the opportunity to recruit new talents for the national cause.

In the Under-21 male category, Labadi-based Godwin Alabi from Hope Table Tennis Foundation beat Desmond Osei from New Juaben Table Tennis Club 3-0 in the final to win a trophy, a gold medal, an undisclosed sum of money, a certificate of participation and products from  the sponsors, Cowbell.

Osei consoled himself with a silver medal, products from Cowbell, an undisclosed sum and a certificate of participation.
Augustine Baidoo from Kwanyako Backhanders Table Tennis Club came third after defeating Samuel Hagan of PingHopes Foundation 3-2. Both received certificates and prizes.

The Under-18 male division saw Francis Antwi from PingHopes Foundation beating James Yeboah of Efutu Table Tennis Foundation 3-1 to carry home a trophy, a gold medal, certificate of participation, an undisclosed cash and products from Cowbell. James Marfo from New Juaben Table Tennis Club placed third.

The Under-15 male final also produced another exciting encounter involving Michael Yeboah of the Rising Star Foundation and Courage Yao Catabo. Yeboah eventually prevailed with a 3-2 victory to lift the trophy, a gold medal, a certificate of participation and products from the sponsors.

Simon Osei of PingHopes Foundation defeated Isaiah Bortier of Hope Table Tennis Foundation 3-1 to finish third.

In the boys Under-11 category, youngster Frank Aduhene defeated Israel Akue 3-2 in the final to emerge tops and receive the champions trophy, a medal, and products from Cowbell.

The female Under 11 category saw Juanita Barladi from Rising Star Foundation accounting for Jessica Dzrah from Ashaiman Table Tennis Club 3-1 in the final to scoop a trophy, a medal and products from Cowbell.

The final of the Under-15 saw a clash between Blessing Labanti Gamashie Table Tennis Club and Emerald Bortey from PingHopes Foundation. Blessing eventually ran away with a 3-0 victory and received an undisclosed cash, certificate of participation and Cowbell products.

In the female Under-18 category, Judith Acheampong of New Juaben Table Tennis Club defeated Diana Opoku, also from New Juaben Club, 3-2 to lift the ultimate trophy. She was also rewarded with an undisclosed cash, a certificate of participation and products from Cowbell.

GTTA’s remarks
The president of the GTTA, Mr Mawuko Afadzinu, commended the participants and revealed that the second competition in the series will be held before the end of the year.

He expressed satisfaction with the display of talents and noted that his outfit would not relent in getting the best talents for the nation.