Table tennis prodigy set for Chinese varsity stint

01May 2016
Joseph Mchekadona
Guardian On Sunday
Table tennis prodigy set for Chinese varsity stint

Budding local table tennis player Alisa Bhojani is expected to attend the Chinese Table Tennis University for three months later this year where she will learn modern basics of the game, national table tennis coach Issa Mtalaso has revealed.

The 10 year old player, before traveling to China, will be taken on a tour of Europe to compete at various events.

Mtalaso said the China training will help the young player to prepare well for future international events and the Japan 2020 Olympics.

The coach refused to give more details on the trip saying preparations are still underway.

“If everything goes well Elisa will travel to China later this year where she will attend a course at the Chinese Table Tennis University, this is one of the best facilities where the sport is taught, she will do modern basics of Table Tennis, you know we are preparing her for 2020 Olympics and other top events ” he said.

Alisa Bhojani,has just returned home from Kenya where she competed at the just ended African Juniors’ Hopes Championships, emerging second after losing in the final to Ivy Makhoka of Kenya by three sets to two.

She is now ranked second amongst her peers on the African continent, the coach elaborated.Mtalaso who accompanied the player to Kenya said Alisa made it to the final not having lost a single game only to lose with a margin of two points after a ten-ten tie “in an emotional and nerve wrecking final.”

“After having taken a lead in the final, Alisa succumbed to Kenyan top seed, Ivy Makhoka in a final that was widely watched. The Tanzanian was given great accolades by the Kenyan Table Tennis Association president, Andrew Mudibo, who said “Alisa lost a deserving match and is a player the world should watch.” He commended the young player for her pace.

He described the player as attacking and highly talented, who plays at the level of a 16-year old.

“The final was her game especially after taking an early lead but being on foreign soil she lost by a margin that is unimaginable to Ivy who is nearly two years older, “We hope to see Alisa continue aggressive training and I believe she will produce some wonders for the country,” the coach further noted.

Alisa said she was happy with the way she played and promised to work even harder so that she can become a top star for the national team.

“I misjudged the last two balls that led to my defeat. Ivy is a good player and I hope to be playing against her in future tournaments. I am upset but it was sheer bad luck. Having not lost a single game I feel bad that I could not clinch and become the number one player. As number two I am now determined to reach the number one spot sometime soon,” the teen prodigy declared.

Alisa is daughter to the former chairperson of the Tanzanian Table Tennis Association and she says she also aspires to play table tennis professionally.
International Table Tennis Federation coach, Ahmed Dawlatly also had great words for Alisa’s skill on the table.

“She is a very good player and plays attacking table tennis which makes it a pleasure to watch. Great talent from this young Tanzanian and we hope she gets the necessary support to fly even higher,” he said.

Table tennis is one of the fastest racket sports in the world and is also an Olympic sport.Despite setting sights on world competitions, the teen won’t feature in this year’s Olympic Games as competition for juniors isn’t part of Olympics, pundits noted.

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