by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Agadir and Kuala Lumpur, time and again she was resigned to the bench, her three more senior colleagues entering the arena; in Cape Town it will be a different scenario. She will at the vanguard of proceedings.
“I am so excited for the upcoming World Junior Championship that is taking place in my country; I cannot wait to represent my country and fly the South African flag high”, said Lekeasha Johnson when speaking to Olalekan Okusan, the Press Officer for the African Table Tennis Federation.
“I am well prepared, I train six days a week just to prepare for the Championship; I am so honoured to play for my country because that is what I always wanted to do”, added Lekeasha Johnson. “It is a privilege to put on the national colours of my country.” colours.”
Undoubtedly, she will enjoy plenty of support; especially from her family who will be present to offer encouragement.
“My family is so proud of me and they can’t wait for me to be in action; my friends are excited to watch their friend play against many different continents”, added the full of enthusiasm teenager who is certainly relishing the challenge.
“I must also admit that this Championship would be tough for us to medal but I have so much faith and believe in my team and our country that I think we can actually obtain good results”, added Lekeasha Johnson. “My aim is to give it my best and at least making it to the top 20 in singles.”
Equally by being present in Kuala Lumpur and Agadir, Lekeasha Johnson is now more accustomed to the international arena.
“I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience at first hand; I do think my national team experience will help with the upcoming championship”, continued Lekeasha Johnson. “My expectations are that my team will play just as hard as I am willing to play and give it their all; after that I will just be hoping for the best.”
Determined, also Lekeasha Johnson sees the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships as having a greater value than being just a table tennis tournament.
“I think it’s unique because different continents come together to compete in a wonderful exciting sport”, she stressed. “We learn about the various languages and are able to gain experience and make new friends.”
A sporting experience; just as with the ITTF World Cadet Challenge, the World Junior Championships affords a further dimension; whatever the outcome it is an educational experience.