Team Kenya displayed a lackluster performance in the group stages of the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation championship, held at the Kasarani indoor gymnasium.
In the women’s first round, Kenya’s Thakkar Sejal lost to Kessaci Katia of Algeria, 3-0.
In the men’s category, Brian Mutua faced off with Congo’s Idowa Saheed where he lost 3-1. In his second match against Nyoh Ofon Derek of Cameroon, he displayed some sparks of brilliance despite bowing out 3-1.
Despite the poor performances, coach, Jan Berner was optimistic and hopeful of at least one win. The Swede was full of praise for Brian, who he said had a bright future:
“The day has not gone according to plan but I am hopeful of at least a win. It will not be easy but I am hopeful. I am specifically impressed by the boy, he is only 19, so it is amazing for him to be participating at this level.”
Today’s opening ceremony was graced by Sports CS, Mohammed Echesa, who was accompanied by his PS, Amb. Peter Kaberia. Echesa said that his Ministry was committed to promoting sports at the grass root levels, table tennis being one of the sports that can be rolled out with ease.
The winners of the three day tournament, both male and female, will walk away with a cash prize of USD 25,000, and an automatic qualification to the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships, that will be held in Halmstad, Sweden from April.