Egypt’s ENPPI and Petrojet are the 2023 Africa Table Tennis Club Champions following brilliant displays at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre indoor gymnasium on Wednesday May 3.
ENPPI led by Nadeem Ahmed as well as Ghallab Ali, Hussein Mo Amen and Saleh Mohamed- defended the continental title with a convincing 3-0 win over Uganda’s Kibuli Table Tennis Club in the men’s final.
Petrojet, on the other hand, hammered Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) 3-0 blow in the one-sided women’s team final to lift the coveted title previously held by compatriots Al-Ahly.
Nairobi City men’s side coached by retired internationals Anthony Mathenge and Derick Inyanje were the best placed Kenyan club finishing fourth overall in the men’s event. Nairobi lads spearheaded by Kevin Mwangi and Mike Otieno lost 0-3 to CBE in the semifinal.
Coach Mathenge who is a longstanding Kenya number 1, lauded his boys for their resilience and gusto.
“We played our hearts out, but at the end of it all, there is a winner and loser. You win some and lose some. But I believe the Egyptians are beatable if only we can practice a lot more,” remarked Mathenge.
ENPPI’s star player Ghallab was all smiles: “I am very happy we have now won three Africa Club Championships and now we are at the top in Africa. We still have the league finals in Egypt to deal with, so the sky is the limit.”
ENPPI’s Coach Ayman Zakareya, on his part said: “I want to thank Allah for the win. We just prepared normally and arrived in Nairobi two days early just to adapt. We were very focused from the day we landed in Nairobi-such a great feeling I must admit.”
Petrojet captain Alhodaby Marwa said: “At the beginning of the matches it was tough because of the humidity but I eased up as play wore on. The Ethiopian team were quite a challenge but we managed. We will go back to prepare for the Egyptian League but I shall remain behind for the World Cup qualifiers.”
Teams from Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Djibouti and host – Kenya featured in the tournament hosted by Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA)
Marwa is a twin sister to her teammate and best friend Marian Alhodaby who also contributed immensely to the team’s success in Nairobi.
The three-day Africa Club Championships preceded the ITTF-Africa Cup which serves off on Thursday May 4 to 6.