New sensation Emmanuel Commey from Swalaba in Accra Central, proved to be a rising star ready to wear a crown when at his third consecutive finals at a National Table Tennis Open, defied all odds to beat the experienced reigning champion, Derek Abrefa, to become the new Ghana Top 8 winner for 2014.
The competition, which is the second edition sponsored by Stanbic Bank took place at the rlg / Hathiamami Sports Hall and it attracted the best eight players from both male and female categories.
All the best players in Ghana were represented and when the tables were set for the last four finalists in the male division, it was Emmanel Commey who used his youthful exuberance and stamina to stop the all-conquering Derek Abrefa at the finals.
Felix Lartey placed third, whilst high spirited powerful back hander, Jacob, from the Ghana Prisons was fourth.
The Sports Hall was full of tension and excitement for the fans who watched the finals. Commey’s supporters who came in their numbers to watch the game were never disappointed as their player was fantastic on the day. They joined him to pose for the cameras while celebrating with him.
Samuel Akayide, one of the enterprising young players could have made it to the first four if he had beaten his opponent at the Quarter final stage
Crafty Cynthia Kwabie from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), defeated improving Linda Annor in the ladies’ final to become the second winner of the Top 8 Female category after Celya Baah Danso, who though was hit with fever, managed to place fourth after she was beaten by strong hitting Bernice Borquaye for the third placed match.
Beatrice Gyasi, a former champion who placed sixth, told yours truly she will be back in grand style as she hopes to qualify for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She said this is the first event to kick start the season and she wants to study the younger players so as to out-do them in subsequent competitions.
Coach Owusu Ansah, the national chief coach, expressed his satisfaction with the standard of the game in Ghana and said the game has become popular with new young boys and girls trying to challenge the old faces.
He noted that series of tournaments would be organized before the Commonwealth Games in Scotland to prepare and keep the national players in shape.
Mawuko Afadzinu PRO / Communications Manager of Stanbic Bank, sponsors of the tournament, said the game of Table Tennis must be able to reward the nation with medals from international competitions and is glad that the Black Loopers were able to participate and win a competition in Benin. However, he noted that, it has in a way boosted the morale and confidence of the players who represented Ghana.
He advised the players to keep on training and step up their efforts to play like the top international stars.
All the participants were presented with cash of Gh¢ 200.00 each, in addition to their attractive prizes.
Meanwhile, the Amoah Tennis Series for young players has been scheduled for March 8 at the Hathiramani Sports Hall. Eric Amoah, former national champion who wants to support young Table Tennis players, has appealed to companies and organisations who want Ghanaian youth to develop through sports to support the event.
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