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20.10.2003 Tennis

Ghana To Host All Africa Tennis Tourney

By Seth Kojo Eyiah for Graphic
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Ghana has been appointed to host the All Africa Junior Table Tennis Champoinships beginning March 29 to April 4, 2004.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Sqd Leader Ebo Bartels, at the Accra Stadium to the Graphic Sports last Sunday. He said Ghana was chosen due to the impressive performance put up by the Black Loopers in Abuja at the just-ended All Africa Games.

According to the Chairman, the championships which will comprise the Under-15,18 and 21 will greatly help this country to unearth budding talents to take over from the current crop of players in the team.

He said the last time the nation participated in a tournament of such magnitude was in 1996, an so the officials at the games were stunned by the performance and the fighting spirit exhibited by the team after such a long absence.

He noted that the bronze medal won by the Loopers during the group event has really gained a lot of respect in the eyes of the power houses in the table tennis arena, especially Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, who have always beaten us.

Mr Bartels further said the Loopers were not seeded at the games and this made them face some of the tougher nations initially as a result of irregular participation in organised tourneys on the continent.

He pointed out that the biggest dificulty the Loopers encountered was in the singles event where they were pitched against opponents who had had elaborate training tours in Europe prior to the Abuja Games.

In spite of that the boys did very well, with Eric Amoah reaching the 1/16 stage with a hand injury, he said. Meanwhile, in a chat with some of the players, they said that facilities, as they are now, should be improved, coupled with the need for more competitions, to give the team the necessary exposure.

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