by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer
The hosts emerged overall winners after claiming gold in the Boys’ Team, Boys’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles events.
Meanwhile, Eritrea competing in their second tournament since being officially accepted as members of the International Table Tennis Federation at the 2017 Annual General Meeting in Düsseldorf, finished in overall second place ahead of Uganda.
Eritrea won the Girls’ Singles and Mixed Doubles titles; Uganda secured Girls’ Doubles gold.
Notably, at the final hurdle of the Boys’ Singles event, Rwanda’s Patrick Masengesho accounted for Eritrea’s Joel Milkael to secure the top prize; in the counterpart Girls’ Singles event, Eritrea’s Sarah Menghistab beat Rwanda’s Hervine Tumukunde to be crowned champion.
In both the Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team events, Uganda finished in runners up spot. Success for Eritrea, it was the same in the Mixed Doubles, Joel Milkael and Sarah Menghstab joined forces to overcame Uganda’s Diouf Miiro and Amina Namaganda to claim gold medals.
The one gold medal for Uganda was secured in the Girls’ Doubles event by Amina Namaganda and Patricia Mbabazi.
A successful tournament and it was a delighted Jean Bosco Birungi, President of the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation, when matters concluded.
“The matches have given our team the required experience and exposure, attending two month’s training in China played a huge role. The team was at its best in the Boys’ Singles event, the next step is to make sure we work hard so that Rwanda is ranked among the top five on the continental,” Jean Bosco Birungi
Present in an official capacity was Didier Guy Rurangayire, representing the Rwandan Ministry of Sports and Culture. He expressed satisfaction with the host team and urged the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation to involve more young people, giving them the opportunity to meet their peers form throughout the continent.
The tournament was sponsored by Kenya Commercial Bank, Airtel, Hotel Hilltop & Country Club, Inyange Industries and Greenhill’s Academy.