by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Only 17 years old, Nandeshwaree Jalim shoulders a big responsibility in Port Louis; the best female player in Mauritius, all eyes are on her to deliver at the African showpiece.
Just over six weeks ago in Algiers she was a bronze medallist in the Women’s Singles event and in the Mixed Team competition when partnering Cameroon’s Yossou Ahmed Nenba.
At the 2018 ITTF-African Championships, she is excited to be playing in front of a home crowd, a good student, she is ready to learn from the continental stars present.
“I am very happy that we are hosting a big competition like this, because not many people have such opportunity to play in front of their home fans in big tournament. Apart from aiming to improve my world ranking, I am willing to learn from top players. There is no doubt that I am playing under a lot of pressure, particularly in front of the home fans. I will give my maximum best and do my country proud.” Nandeshwaree Jalim
It is for Nandeshwaree Jalim and her colleagues a major opportunity.
“We are grateful to our government, the Mauritius Table Tennis Association, the International Table Tennis Federation and the African Table Tennis Federation for selecting Mauritius. We cherish every moment of the competition and hope to pick up some skills from the experts in the game.” Nandeshwaree Jalim
Notably, three years ago when Mauritius was the home for the African Junior Championships, Nandeshwaree Jalim was an inexperienced cadet age group player; now she is one of the most experienced in the Indian Ocean Island.
“I think I am gaining in experience, particularly by attending the last African Youth Games and the Nigeria Open in Lagos. My confidence level is high and I am not afraid to play against any player. Nandeshwaree Jalim
Impressively, on the opening day of play in the Women’s Team event, Nandeshwaree Jalim gave a very good account of herself against Egypt’s Dina Meshref, the leading female player on duty in Port Louis. She was beaten in straight games but each game was close, two settled by the minimal margin (13-11, 11-8, 13-11).
“When I was playing against Dina, I was just playing my game because I was not under any pressure. I just made sure I gave my best but her experience and exposure counted for her in the match. Despite her being my idol, I think I will be ready for anybody in the singles event.” Nandeshwaree Jalim
In the Women’s Singles event, Nandeshwaree Jalim receives a direct entry to the second round where she meets the winner of the opening round engagement between South Africa’s Danisha Patel and Egypt’s Alaa Saad.
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Monday 3rd September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Tuesday 4th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Wednesday 5th September
2018 ITTF African Championships: Newsletter – Friday 7th September