19 Dec 2016

Fun, like many others that was the prime factor why Ghana’s Felix Lartey started playing table tennis but when he read about the exploits of compatriot, Emmanuel Quaye, the winner of the Men’s Singles title at the first ever African Championships staged in 1962, the young man had a role model.

Now he is moving into the spotlight, lining up alongside Emmanuel Commey and Derek Abfrefa, a bronze medal was gained in the Men’s Team event at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interview by Olalekan Okusan)

It was an unexpected outcome, a three-two win recorded over the host nation trio formed by Hu Bin, Suraju Saka and Saheed Idowu was a major upset and had a positive effect for table tennis in Ghana.

“I will say that the bronze medal in the Men’s Team event at the 2015 African Games really helped gave credence to the sport, because many people started supporting the game and entering competitions in Ghana. Companies like the Stanbic Bank have been involved in the sponsorship of the sport. I think the sport is doing better than before”, Felix Lartey.

Support from a commercial sponsor is a major step forward for a country where the clear top sport is football.

“Honestly our government only focuses on football and this has not attracted sponsors to put in money on table tennis. It has become a very difficult task for the government to support us in competitions outside Ghana”, Felix Lartey.

On duty for Ghana at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Felix Lartey is ambitious and seeks to compete beyond the shores of his country.

Undoubtedly a place in next year’s African Cup is a goal.

“My dream is to play more competitions outside my country particularly to play in a major league. For now, I train four times in a week with my peers and with the national team we train twice a day for six days; I will continue to play until luck smiles on me and my body cannot carry me again”, Felix Lartey.

Felix Lartey is an officer with the Ghana Immigration Service.

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