by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Notably on the second day of play, Tuesday 4th August, she officiated at the Men’s Team semi-final contest between Algeria and Nigeria; for the former Larbi Bouriah, Sami Kherouf and Mohamed Lazazi were on duty, for the latter it was I was Bode Abiodun, Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola.
“I have been so happy that in the last three days, I cannot hide my feelings, particularly handling the match involving Africa’s best player, Quadri Aruna. I was so happy, not many people have the chance to watch Aruna play live but for me I handled the match and I enjoyed every moment I spent on centre court.” Sadoolah Zaynah
Undoubtedly, the opening three days of action have motivated Sadoolah Zaynah.
“A few days before the competition, I was told as a volunteer that I will be one of the umpires that will handle proceedings in the competition. Initially I was bit nervous particularly on the first day but as the tournament progressed I gained confidence and I started falling in love with the work.” Sadoolah Zaynah
Certainly officiating in a contest that involved the continent’s top names was a major challenge.
“I was a bit nervous when I realised I will be in charge of the match involving Quadri Aruna. I never had the opportunity to watch him play live. However, as an umpire, I was given that chance; when I got into the centre court I was initially under pressure but when the match started I gained confidence. There was a scenario in the match, when Aruna won a very crucial point, I wanted to show my excitement but I realized I was an umpire. So I quickly restrained myself; the match will remain with me forever. Aruna is such a good player, how he managed to return some balls on the table was remarkable; his topspin forehand is unique. I cherished every point he won and I hope I can get more chance like this to be in charge of his matches.” Sadoolah Zaynah
The outcome was a three-nil win in favour of Nigeria.
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Monday 3rd September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Tuesday 4th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Wednesday 5th September