by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Media Officer
Despite his wealth of experience, Nicholas Esther had never taken part in any continental tournament in Africa at senior level but all this changed as the Seychellois made his anticipated debut at the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup in Agadir, Morocco.
However, Nicholas Esther would cherish every moment as he would be competing alongside two of the continent’s biggest exports in table tennis – Omar Assar and Quadri Aruna.
“It has been a dream for me to play in a senior tournament in Africa and this year, I made the team to the ITTF Africa Cup in Morocco. Apart from the experience I am looking forward to gaining, I was eager to see and meet with Assar and Aruna who had indeed made the continent proud at global level…
… In Morocco, I am not really expecting myself to win but I want to post good results against top players so that I can improve in my continental ranking. Particularly I am impressive with the conduct of Assar and Aruna because they are so friendly and they are eager to discuss and talk with some of us considering their global status. This for me is a big motivation to want to emulate them. The fighting spirit of Omar Assar coupled with the calmness of Quadri Aruna are traits that I desire to copy, especially the style of play of Aruna is one thing I desire to watch and use in my games”, Nicholas Esther.
However, Nicholas Esther admitted that his debut was not without undue pressure.
“I think I am a little bit nervous with this being my first outing in a senior tournament. But I hope with every match, I will gain more confidence,” says the Seychelles number one player.