The trio of Molasem Edries, Kauther Osman and Habab Hussin were still in cloud nine with the hosting of the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup and Olympics Qualification Tournament by Sudan.

They were not only excited over the presence of top African players but they were thrilled with the quality of facilities that were being used for the competitions.

Despite being their maiden appearances at continental tournaments, what they saw and witnessed in the competition has ignited their passion and determination to work hard for future event.

Mosalem Edries, 24, who competed in the men’s event, believes the different between him and other top players is training. “I think I can beat any player in Africa and what I just need is regular training while the facilities like the ones being used for the competition should also be made available to us in Sudan. I am so happy that we are hosting competition of this magnitude because it will encourage more players to embrace table tennis. I am so excited despite not making it to the next round. But I managed to win against a Kenyan and this for me is a morale booster for me to work harder,” Edries said.

For Kauther Omsan, 30, “The tournament has really put Sudan on the world map because our flag is on ITTF website and everybody knows we are hosting this competition. This is my first time of playing in an Africa tournament and I am so much excited particularly seeing players like Aruna Quadri and Dina Meshref whom I think are the best Africa for now. I am also happy that with the equipment that were given to Sudan for hosting the competition, we can use it to train and play regularly because these are among the things that we are in this country,” she said.

Despite the excitement, Osman was disappointed that she failed to beat players from Djibouti and Kenya whom she said are on same standard with Sudan. “Inasmuch as I am thrilled with the hosting, I am not too happy with myself because I could not defeat players from Kenyan and Djibouti. I hope to continue to work hard and believes we can use the equipment to improve ourselves,” she lamented.

Just like her compatriot, Habab Hussin was happy that her family was at the venue to cheer her. “I am so much happy to wear the colours of my country because it is a big responsibility as well as an honour particularly with my family present at the venue. I tried my best but I could not do much because the Egyptian coach we had arrived three weeks to the tournament which I think was too short for us to train well. I am also happy that for the first time, Sudan is hosting an international table tennis tournament with all the best players from Africa visiting Sudan. I am so much happy to see our favourite – Aruna Quadri of Nigeria whom I think is the best in Africa. His style of play and footwork are superb and I think we have learnt from players like that,” Hussin said.

With the warmness in the hall as well as the friendly posture of the Sudanese, the memory of hosting tournament of this status will remain in the mind of every Sudanese.