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Anaab, Malde shine as Nairobi junior tourney unearths new stars

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Anaab Shah in action during the tournament
  • Visiting Italian Coach Luciano Esposito offered mentorship
  • The next focus will be on the Olympic Games qualifiers
  • Kenya is looking to popularize the game more among the youth

Anaab Fahd Daim, Kushi Malde and Gao Song Yao were among the star attractions at the Nairobi Open Junior Table Tennis Championships held over the weekend at the Visa Oshwal Sports Complex.

Anaab, the son of Kenya team coach and longstanding national champion Fahd Daim, displayed awesome skills in the championship organized by Nairobi Table Tennis Association.

The young Anaab was named the most improved player while Gao Song Yao was voted the championship’s best performer.

Anaab won the Boys Under-12 championship trophy after he defeated Ingosi Njuguna of St Teresas in the final match.

The 11-year old Anaab was at it again when he racked up the boys under-15 trophy with victory over Sayam Shah in the final. Anaab also lost Zayan Pema in the boys under 19 semis.

Pulsating final 

Elizabeth Njoki of St Teresas won the Girls Under-12 trophy after she defeated Delina Shavadia in a pulsating final.

Kushi Malde completed a hattrick of wins in the girls Under -15, 19 and 21 categories.

In the under 15 and 19 final, Malde defeated Jenny Amadi while in the under 21 girls’ category she vanquished national team player Lisa Wele contrary to all expectations.

Boniface Musyoki emerged the boys Under 21 champion after defeating Idris Kulubi in the final.

The tournament took place under the watchful eye of visiting Italian Coach Luciano Esposito who lauded the juniors for their displays in the tournament.

“It’s a new experience for me because Kenya Table Tennis is new to me. I had the opportunity to interact with the juniors in a competitive set up and I see there is a lot of talent that can reach high levels of table tennis. I will not be here for long, but the most important things to focus on in the next one month is movement and making use of the body,” remarked Luciano.

Italian coach to be with national team 

Andrew Mudibo, the President of Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA), on his part, revealed that the Italian coach will be with the national team and also the juniors for the next one month.

Mudibo added: “The reason why we have brought the coach from Italy is that we want to bring back the good days of table tennis whereby the basics of the sports will be there and it’s just in time to pick it up with the team for the Olympic qualifiers.”

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