by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably Nadeen El-Dawlatly, a computer engineering undergraduate, is the only African player to have won an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles title; she won in Lagos in 2014.
However, a recurring knee injury forced her to withdraw from the 2015 African Championship in Yaoundé, Cameroon; it has also prevented her competing in this year’s edition. She is recovering from necessary surgery.
“I am really sad that I will not participate in this year’s ITTF African Senior Championships in Morocco; it is really hard time for me; I wish my team all the best”, said Nadeen El-Dawlatly when speaking to Olalekan Okusan, the Press Officer for the ITTF-African Table Tennis Federation.
“I have had an injured knee for the past three years but it was not as severe as it is now; I had many anti-inflammation courses and last year, I had a lubricant injected into my knee”, added Nadeen El-Dawlatly. “After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it reached a point where surgical intervention was the only way out; so I had my surgery on Saturday 1st October, now I am in rehabilitation before commencing physical training.”
Recovering and Nadeen El-Dawlatly can expect a high level of family support; both mother and father played for Egypt. Pertinently her father, Ahmed is the ITTF Technical Expert; elder brother Mohamed is a Competition Manager and Information Technology Consultant.
“My father and brother taught me everything basically, not only them; my mother and sister, who were former African champions”, explained Nadeen El-Dawlatly. “My family has given me the greatest support that is available and I could not have reached where I am without them; I love table tennis so much and I feel that I have so much more to give, more than anything I enjoy playing.”
Equally Nadeen El-Dawlatly excels at swimming and squash but it would seem that table tennis is top of the list.
“I am not sure yet what I will do after table tennis but definitely something related to the sport because I can’t live without it”, added Nadeen El-Dawlatly. “I feel like it is the perfect sport for me.”
A notable absentee in Morocco but Nadeen El-Dawlatly has full confidence in her compatriots.
“I have high expectations for the Championship in Morocco with a high level table tennis performance. I predict a full house of medals for Egypt,” she enthused. “I think table tennis has improved a lot in Africa, because ITTF is doing a pretty good job in helping table tennis grow in Africa and all the players are motivated to be better.”
Standards rising and in Rio de Janeiro, Nadeen El-Dawlatly underlined the fact that she can compete at a high level.
“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games was good, not my best in singles but I played much better in the team event against Singapore’s Feng Tianwei”, concluded Nadeen El-Dawlatly who in the Women’s Singles event had lost to Hungary’s Petra Lovas, a player of considerably more experience.
Undoubtedly in Agadir Nadeen El-Dawlatly would have been a major medal contender, she will just need to be patient; 2017 will come sooner than you think.