Tanzania's teen table tennis player, Sara Alidina has won the Kenyan Coast Regional Championships 2017 after beating Assa Naomi from Taita County 2-1 in the final.
Playing for Mombasa County combine team, Sara started the match with an 8-11 loss before equalizing in the second set with 11-8 and later register 11-4 in the final set to emerge top of the championships.
Sara's victory was much celebrated with teammates who comprised a Tanzanian player for the first time in the history of the game. Assa is among the top table tennis players in the championship.
Sara who studies at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa also faced hard opposition in the semifinals. She played Amina from Taita County and managed to win 2-0 with 14-12 and 11-8 sets, respectively.
“I am very happy to win the title. Assa is a very strong player, but I managed to show my talent and win the tough match. Winning was the target in advancing in my career. I was competing for the first time, it was tense to me and I promise to make efforts and hopefully dominate in other events as well,” said Sara via telephone.
The victory enabled Sara to qualify automatically for the Kenya National racquet championships to be held in Nairobi at the end of this month, representing the Kenyan Coast Region.
The Tanzanian player managed to win all three matches in a preliminary round to reach the last eight stages of the exciting championships.
Sara registered a two-straight win (2-0) victory against Christine Mbengo with 11-3 and 11-5 straight sets before registering a victory in the second encounter against Caroline Achieng’ with the same style after recording 11-5 and 11-4, respectively.
The third game was tough for Sara as she faced the tough Kenyan player Ifra (19) and won by 2-1. Sara won the first set with 11-8, but Ifra equalized in the second with 11-8 and in the final set Sara won 11-7 in the thrilling event.