by Simon Daish
Derek Abrefa has set his sights on becoming Africa’s best Table Tennis player, after being named the Best Player of the 2016 Stanbic Bank Table Tennis League.
With Quadri Aruna (Nigeria) shocking the world with his record-breaking last eight finish at Rio 2016, Africa’s influence in Table Tennis has spiked and Abrefa has ambitions to be one of the top players in the continent. “I want to be African champion” said Abrefa. “When I was growing up, I heard Ghana was a great Table Tennis nation and we had star players like Ethel Jacks and others who were terrors in Africa. I want to be like them”
Abrefa was the Ghanaian national champion in 2015, but he believes that he has the potential to go on to achieve greater heights, “I want to enhance my God given talent and become a real star.” Abrefa added, “I know that I am a champion in Ghana, but I want to move higher and become better.”
The President of the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) Mawuko Afadzinu praised the national league setup, but wants to see the country competing at the next Olympic Games, ‘‘I have seen great transformation and validation in the league. We, however, need to create the environment and atmosphere in which the athletes’ ability would blossom to become award winning talents. The target of the association is to go to the next Olympic Games.”
“We have to build the foundation on consistency, exposure and training to encourage a lot more people to the discipline and give our players the impetus to perform at the highest level” – Mawuko Afadzinu (President of the GTTA).
Ghana finished in fourth place of the Men’s Team competition at the 2015 African Games, losing out to the host nation Congo Brazzaville in the bronze medal match.