Former table tennis top seeds – Felix Lartey and Celia Baah Danso, announced their return to the table over the weekend by grabbing top spot at the 2022 Greater Accra Table Tennis Association (GATTA) Homowo Open Championship held at the Hathiramani Hall of the Accra Sports Stadium.
Both Lartey and Baah Danso have been domiciled outside the country for some years now and only returned to test their battle-readiness for the upcoming African Games and the Olympic Games. According to the two, they still have what it takes to fly the flag of Ghana at these competitions.
The championship was played as part of activities marking this year’s Osu Homowo festival and to welcome the new Osu Mantse, Teteete Nii Nortey Owuo IV, who was the special guest of honour.
Lartey who was one of the least fancied players to win the competition proved he still has the magic wand, beating Nigerian based in Ghana Victor Smart, 3-1 to be crowned champion.
This was after he defeated Emmanuel Ansah 2-0 in the first round, Samuel Hagan 2-0 in the round-of-16, Isaac Amoako 3-0 in the quarter-finals and Emmanuel Commey 3-0 in the semi-finals.
In the female category, Baah-Danso came face-to-face with long-term rival Eva Amankwaa Adom, defeating her 3-1 in the finals. En route to the finals, the Ghana Armed Forces player brushed aside fellows Cynthia Kwabi, Bernice Borquaye, Linda Annor and Philipa Aidoo in the preliminary round to win her first title in over four years.
In the junior category, Nungua-based Rising Star Table Tennis Club youngster, Prince Asare, defeated Richard Ofori 3-1 to win the trophy at stake.
For his reward, the winner took home a trophy, medal and cash amount of GH¢5,000, while the runner-up received medals plus GH¢3,000 with others receiving consolation prizes for their effort.
Nii Nortey Owuo IV congratulated the winners for their display and urged them to strive to attain greater heights in their career. He was full of praise for the leadership of the GATTA for deciding to honour him and the people of Osu with such a great tournament, adding that he is looking forward to next year’s event.
Chairman of GATTA, Mr Solomon Akunnor, expressed delight at the success of the event and the turn-out, adding that the seriousness the players attached to the competition spoke volume of how prestigious it was for them.
“With what we saw here today, it tells us that next year would be a different story, and we need to start preparations now as it would be bigger and much better.”
He expressed gratitude to sponsors including the Osu Traditional Council, Accra Open, T.T Brothers Limited, J.A Biney and Stanbic Bank Ghana, among others.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY