by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Hana Goda won the first game; her intelligent positioning of ball coupled with her trademark shouting at every success, attracted the attention of the fans who were glued to the action.
Advice from the bench, Helga Dari recovered to win the next two games; however, as always with no coach to advise, Hana Goda stunned her older opponent with her intelligent placing of ball to claim the next two games.
Intermittently looking at her mother, Radwa Azab in the crowd, Hana Goda won the heart of the fans. They continued to cheer her; a crucial time-out during the sixth game, the tide turned for the Hungarian to level matters.
A seventh game beckoned, the Hungarian made the better start, she went ahead 6-1; quite incredibly Hana Goda fought back to level up at 8-all to the jubilation of the fans. At 10-all it was parity; it was at that stage the extra experience of Helga Daria prevailed; she won the next two points to secure victory.
“I don’t like playing against a younger player like her because she was not playing under any pressure like me. She played freely and took risks. I was under intense pressure because she really felt the pace of the match throughout. My coach cautioned me to be calm and concentrate and that was what really helped me. I am bit relieved that I defeated her. I must admit that she is a good player with a lot of potential.” Helga Daria
Notably in addition to the Junior Girls’ Singles event, Hana Goda is also competing in the Cadet Girls’ Singles and Mini Cadet Girls’ Singles events.