08 Sep 2018

Competing on home soil, it was an opening round Men’s Doubles defeat in partnership with colleague, Mohammad Ahmed, at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Port Louis, Mauritius on Friday 7th September.

Later, in the day, it was followed by a reverse in the same round of the Men’s Singles competition. However, Ryan Sahajasein could hold his head high; he is only 11 years old, the youngest player in the whole tournament, the son of Patrick Sahajasein, former international now the national cadet age group coach.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

In the Men’s Doubles event it was farewell at the hands of Madagascar’s Rado Rasolomalala and Stephen Ravonison in a full distance five games contest (10-12, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9, 11-2). Later in the Men’s Singles competition, Madagascar also proved the nemesis; Ryan Sahajasein was beaten by Zo Razafindrarambo (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3).

Ryan Sahajasein is a grade seven pupil at St Nicholas Grammar School and looks set to follow in the footsteps of his father.

“When I was five, I used to see my dad going to training and also to train other players. So I told him I wanted to join. He accepted and since then I started playing the game. The game has really helped me physically but my target is to become African champion.” Ryan Sahajasein

Currently, Ryan Sahajasein is the Mauritius Under 13 Boys’ Singles national champion and recently attended the ITTF World Hopes Weeks in Alicante, Spain.

“I finished third at the World Hopes Challenge in Africa behind two Egyptians so I was included in the team because each country is only allowed one player. It was an experience I will cherish forever; from there I learned that I have to continue working hard.” Ryan Sahajasein

Now in Port Louis, it is a few steps higher than in Alicante; his first senior tournament.

“This is a rare chance for us in Mauritius, particularly as host of one of the biggest tournaments in Africa. The tournament will give us the chance to play the best in Africa and learn from them. It will also help us to upgrade our knowledge about the sport. My dad used to tell me that I need to continue to work hard if I intend to achieve my dream of becoming the best player. He has pushed and encouraged me a lot. I hope I can follow his advice to realise my dream in table tennis.” Ryan Sahajasein

Most certainly Ryan Sahajasein is enjoying the tournament and if he could meet his idol, it would be the icing on the cake.

“I am also excited to see my idol, Quadri Aruna for the first time live. I was actually looking for an opportunity to meet him but I noticed he was training and even when he finished playing, I could not meet him before he left the venue. I am still looking forward to meeting him and ask him a lot of questions. He is such a good player with good conduct on and off the table.” Ryan Sahajasein.

No doubt the meeting will be organised and if a role model for the aspiring players on duty in Port Louis is needed, they could do no better than watch Quadri Aruna.

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

2018 African Championships Ryan Sahajasein

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Day 7 - 2018 ITTF Africa Championships