Table Tennis: All set for regional showpiece

Youngsters train at NPC gymnasium, in Remera, last week. Courtesy.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Eastern region junior championship starts today and will run through Sunday at Green Hills Academy in Kigali.

Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF) has said that all is set for the country to host a successful competition, which is the biggest table tennis event Rwanda has ever staged.

Over 150 athletes from eight countries – out of fourteen  comprising the ITTF-Africa Eastern region – will be vying for honours.

According to RTTF president, John Birungi, the three-day tournament will boost the sport in Rwanda, in terms of public awareness and rare exposure for players.

Birungi made the comments while addressing a news conference on Thursday.

“We are tapping into the rapidly growing Rwanda’s reputation as a MICE destination to host big sports events like this one, which is the first of its kind in Rwanda,” said Birungi, adding that everyone, especially parents and children, are invited to witness the “beauty of the sport”.

Ramzi Ben Hadjk Mabrouk, the ITTF Africa Development Manager, is in Kigali to oversee the tournament on behalf of the continental body.

Team Rwanda:

Boys:Patrick Masengesho, Jean Bonheur Irakiza, Olivier Tuyishimire, Daniel Ndayishimiye, Merci Asifiweg, and GermainNiyonkuru.

Girls:Regine Twizerane, Thamar Tuyikunde, Josee Deborah Ikirezi, HervineTumukunde, Kelia Chantal Hirwa, and Lea Uzaninyana.