Sierra Leone cadet boys’ team of Bredford Sawyer, Alieu Sesay and Mohamed Kamara stunned Ivory Coast 3-0 in the on-going International Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Junior and Cadet Championship hosted at Dome of El Menzah Arena, in the capital city of Tunisia, Tunis.
Despite losing their match against Algeria and Mauritius by three straight sets respectively in Group 1, the boys bounced back strongly against their West African counterpart, Ivory Coast, in the cadet team consolation match.
Sawyer wasted no time defeating Sie Nomel, of Ivory Coast, by 3 sets to 2, (11-4, 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9). On the other table, Alieu Sesay defeated Djedjemel Wilfred also 3 sets to 2, (10-12, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-8). Mohamed Kamara had an easy three straight (3-0) victory against Sie Nomel. In the other match, the three boys from Sierra Leone were unable to contest the speedy and aggressive Libyans who woefully defeated the Salone boys. Libyans won all three games (3-0).
Libya’s, Habeb Alajaebi beat Sierra Leone Bredford Sawyer 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-5), Abdulsalam Hireez won three straight sets in his victory over Alieu Sesay (11-6, 13-11, 11-8). And Habeb Alajaebi recorded an easy three straight defeat against Mohamed Kamara (11-6, 11-5, 11-3).
With the loss to Libya, Sierra Leone boy’s cadet team will not proceed to the next round of the tournament.
In the junior boy’s category, Bredford Sawyer, Alieu Sesay and Emmanuel Koroma played for Sierra Leone in Group 1 against Egypt and DR Congo.
The boys lost both matches against Egypt and DR Congo by three straight games (3-0). The defeats left Sierra Leone at the bottom of the table in Group 1.
Sierra Leone was slated to play against South Africa in the junior cadet consolation match for a place in the next stage. But the trio of Koroma, Sesay and Sawyer were beaten 3-0 by South Africa’s, Zakeer Moosa, Ezile Ndwabdasini and Prahlad Nair.
Even though the Salone teams failed to qualify into the second round of the cadet and junior team events, Bredford Sawyer and Mohamed Kamara said, “We are not in the competition to win at all costs. We want to showcase our talent in the sport to the rest of our African counterparts.” The boys will get other opportunities to showcase their speed and finesse when they play other opponents in the singles category. The official who went with the team, Emmanuel Lebbie, said he was happy with the performance of the kids during the competition. “This is a sign that there is hope for Sierra Leone Table Tennis.”
By Magdalene S Konneh
Thursday April 13, 2017.