Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda’s Eddy Omongole lost to Kenyan player Brian Mutua in the men’s singles final of the 2019 Eastern Africa Table Tennis Championships on Friday 29th, November 2019 at the Pope Paul Memorial Centre.
The 21-year-old Mutua, a student of Physical sciences at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) defeated Omongole 4-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9).
Mr. Omongole says he did his best amidst late preparations and late selection to the national team on Wednesday night. The26-year-old graduate of social work and social administration said that he was unfit and unprepared for the tournament.
Mr. Mutua who won a gold medal and trophy says the final was difficult because Omongole had a lot of home support. Ethiopia’s Aden Tesfeye and Kenya’s Josiah Wandera were placed third and won bronze medals.
In the women’s category Ethiopia’s Marta Meshesha beat Tanzania’s Neema Mwaisyula in the final. Uganda’s Amina Lukaya and Saba Alemu of Ethiopia finished in third position.
Mutua and Meshesha also qualify to feature in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifier to be held in Tunisia next year.
However, the top players did not get cash prizes as had been announced. Winners were promised shillings 1.4 million, second placed shillings 760,000 and shillings 360,000 for the third placed player.
However, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board member, Tom Kiggundu gave US$100 US dollars (shillings 360,000) each to Mutua and Meshesha as good will.
The President of Uganda Table Tennis Association (UTTA), Robert Jjagwe says the Eastern Africa Regional President Andrew Mutua will have to explain why prize money has not been handed to the winners.
The Championships attracted participants from 7 countries including Uganda Kenya, Somalia. Also Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti participated.