07 Sep 2021

Sean Dekop and Tshepang Motlhalamme are treading in unchartered waters; they are the first players from Botswana to compete in an African Championships.

They are on duty for the 24th edition of the tournament, the week-long event concluding in Yaoundé on Tuesday 7th September.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Member Releations Press Officer

It is for the debutants, a learning experience.

Only 19 years old Dekop, an undergraduate of Limkokwing University, Gaborone, says coming to Yaoundé has afforded him a great opportunity to learn from the top players.

He hopes to improve his game by applying the tricks of the trade watching the best players and attending the High Performance Training Camp that preceded the tournament.

“I started table tennis in 2017 after my father advised me to take up the sport. Initially, I was playing football, but my father said it would be better if I played an individual sport that would help me in life. Since I started playing table tennis, my mental strength has improved, and my confidence level has grown.

Coming here, I realised that there is a huge gap between us and the rest of the countries in Africa in terms of playing standard. I need to continue training and working harder. I have learnt a lot from the top players like Quadri Aruna and others. Pace and techniques are key things I picked from this tournament in Cameroon.” Sean Dekop

Likewise, for 21-year-old Tshepang Motlhalamme, coming to Cameroon has been an eye-opener; Motlhalamme explained that she has picked up playing techniques which will aid her in the game when returning to Botswana.

“I have learnt so much here in Cameroon. Now I must improve on my forehand and backhand to be able to play against any opponent. Another important thing I picked up here in Cameroon is that I must believe in myself. You cannot win without believing in yourself. Winning starts from believing and this is very important for every player.” Tshepang Motlhalamme

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