by Nathaniel Somuah
No match won yet by Arthur Tieba, but the experience gained will be valuable for the future:
“I never imagined being a part of this tournament and playing my first international competition. I will never forget this time of my life. I am so happy to be here and my family is very proud of me. When I go back to school, I have a lot of stories to tell my classmates.” Arthur Tieba
Nine years of age, he is the youngest player at the tournament, a privilege he is most grateful for. Starting in the Junior Boys’ Singles he was paired in the same group with Ahmed Elbhorhamy of Egypt (11-3, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3) and colleague Cedric Bi Zaouli (11-5, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3), losing out to both players.
Third position in the group ensured Arthur Tieba a place in the Junior Boys’ Singles consolation category. The host nation star received a bye in the first round and was paired with Ange Michel Seri in the quarter-finals; Tieba fought like a real warrior but lost by three games to two (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11).
“I’m very happy to be a part of this tournament. I will continue to learn. This competition has enabled me to play with other tough opponents. I lost in the quarter-finals of the consolation tournament and I think my performance was good. This is my first tournament and I was very nervous in all my games. My opponents are much more experienced than me, so I found it very difficult playing with them. I have learnt a lot in this tournament and I am going to use all the experience I have gained to improve my game and become a better player.” Arthur Tieba
“Watching the Egyptians and the Chinese play, it is so nice and it is my wish that I will be able to play like them soon. They play very well and I am learning from how they play. It is my hope that with many more tournaments like this, I will improve and represent my country in many more competitions in the near future. I take my schooling seriously as it will open up my mind and enable me to think very well. I hope to be a professional player and play all over the world and represent my country in international games.” Arthur Tieba
Arthur Tieba, a delight to watch as he displays his skill on the table but he is still learning and his experience in Abidjan is something he will improve upon. This tournament is an eye opener for him and his colleagues.