Ta­ble ten­nis star head­ing to Tu­nisia

Weekend Witness - - Sport - VUYELWA MTOLO

PI­ETER­MAR­ITZBURG’S ta­ble ten­nis star Kiara Naidoo is thrilled with the op­por­tu­nity to im­prove her tech­ni­cal as­pects of the game in Tu­nisia next month.

This came af­ter the 14-year-old Pi­eter­mar­tizburg Girls’ High pupil bagged gold in the U15 team and sin­gles events at the 2018 SA Na­tional School Cham­pi­onships held in Gaut­eng re­cently.

Kiara’s ex­ploits at na­tional level saw her be­ing se­lected by the In­ter­na­tional Ta­ble Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITTF) High Per­for­mance and De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment to at­tend an Africa train­ing camp.

The train­ing camp is sched­uled to be held at the coun­try’s cap­i­tal and the largest city, Tu­nis, from Jan­uary 3-11.

“Be­ing cho­sen amongst the best in Africa to at­tend the ITTF has def­i­nitely been a great achieve­ment,” said an ex­cited Kiara.

“I plan on us­ing this train­ing camp to im­prove the tech­ni­cal as­pects of my game and as prepa­ra­tion for the Africa Ju­niour and Cadet Cham­pi­onships in Ghana and other up­com­ing tour­na­ments.”

Kiara has par­tic­i­pated in the ITTF African Ju­nior and Cadet Cham­pi­onships in Cote de Voire ear­lier this year, but plans to do one bet­ter than she did this year.

“I fin­ished eighth in the com­pe­ti­tion for sin­gles, won a bronze medal for teams’ events and ob­tained a rank­ing of fifth in Africa,” said the Lin­coln Meade res­i­dent.

The hard work­ing cham­pion, who started play­ing ta­ble ten­nis at pri­mary school level, said she was con­fi­dent go­ing to the na­tion­als and she was thrilled that her hard work had paid off.

“I’m al­ways proud and ex­cited to rep­re­sent my prov­ince at the SA Na­tional Schools Cham­pi­onships and was more ready to par­tic­i­pate this year.

“Since the be­gin­ning of the year, my goal was to re­main un­de­feated in my age cat­e­gory, and with hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, I man­aged to achieve it.”

Kiara has also been part of the 2017/ 18 Elite Ath­lete De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (EADP) with the KZN Depart­ment of Sports and Re­cre­ation (DSR) and this has al­lowed her to fol­low a train­ing sched­ule which is com­piled by a bioki­neti­cist.

She said her fu­ture plans were to one day par­tic­i­pate in the Olympic Games. • [email protected]­ness.co.za

PHOTO: SA SCHOOLS TA­BLE TEN­NIS

Kiara Naidoo (left) with Gaut­eng di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, Boy Ngob­eni.

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