Tennis News of Monday, 7 April 2014

Source: Sammy HeywoodOkine

Lynda Annor is SWAG Table Tennis Player of the year

Ever consistently improving Table Tennis Star Lynda Annor of the Immigration Service of Ghana has been named the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Best Table Tennis Player for the 2013 season.

The West African Gold medalist edged out hot favourite Celya Baah Danso and defending champion Cynthia Kwabi to win the favour of the sports scribes and broadcasters umbrella body.

The Best Table Tennis Player Award nomination had to be postponed for the Awards Committee of the SWAG to meet, deliberate and debate over it and other issues till its last meeting on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium, when the second batch of Award nominee were tabled and announced.

Celya Baah Danso of the Ghana Armed Forces started the season on a high note winning the Top 8 and Hathiramani Tournaments, but failed to impress in the National Top 4 Open Competition and did not participate in the qualifier for the only international competition in Benin where Annor beat all opposition to make Ghana proud.

Kwabi, last year’s best player also did not start the year well but ended on a good note which was not enough for her to retain her title.

Lynda Annor who had been consistent throughout the year and the toast of Coach Owusu Ansah, the national technical director of Table Tennis believes this is her time of national recognition and was grateful to God and the SWAG.

She said it had not been easy praying and training to be the best. “I am grateful to God, but I can say I have been my best this year and I deserve to win the Best Player Award. All my colleagues did well but I think I did better because I was in the national team and we won Gold in the international tournament. I am very happy to represent Ghana and return with a medal” she said.

Derek Abrefa retained the male category by beating Felix Lartey and Emmanuel Commey in another tight race that gave the SWAG some anxious moments to decide and the lot fell on Abrefa due to discipline and consistent performance at top level.

Meanwhile, the SWAG Awards which come off on 17th May 2014 at the State House will see some international guests like the Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, Lamin Diack former IAAF President and Boris Becker, the former German Tennis King.

The SWAG will use the occasion to reward outstanding sports personalities who excelled in the last sports season, notably, the Black Starlets who won silver at the World Youth Cup in Turkey, Ebenezer Assifuah, Clifford Aboagye, Badminton Star Abraham Ayittey, Professional Boxer Patrick Allotey, Weightlifter Juliana Arkoh, Ben Nunoo Mensah, Chairman of the Year, Samuel Anim, Cyclist of the Year and others.

The footballer of the year would be decided among Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and Kwadwao Asamoah, whilst the flagship award of Sports Personality of the year is a contest between Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah, Black Stars Captain Asamoah Gyan and Juliana Arkoh who won eight medals – six silver and two bronze at the 2013 African Championships in Morocco.

About 900 guests are expected to grace the 39th Awards to be sponsored by communication giants MTN, which is strictly by invitation.

Meanwhile, the grand launch of the event has been fixed for April 22, 2014 at the Media Centre of the Accra Sports Stadium