Tourney returns to serve up friendship in Rwanda

KIGALI-The Chinese Ambassador’s Cup table tennis tournament concluded in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Sunday, with the event hailed as a unique platform to promote talent and friendship among participants.,Organized by the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF) and sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, the tournament featured five categories for both male and female paddlers-seniors (over-18s), juniors (under-18s), Under-12s, para (for players with disabilities), and veterans.,Besides Rwandan players, the two-day tournament attracted competitors from Uganda, Kenya and Burundi. A total of 127 players took part, according to RTTF vice-president Innocent Bahati.,”I am so excited to have participated and won the senior men’s category. I thank my coach and the colleagues I train with for their motivation and support,” Sam Ankunda Mbabazi, a Ugandan player, told Xinhua.,Mbabazi walked away with a trophy, a gold medal and prize money.,”I thank the Chinese embassy and the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation for organizing this competition which promotes our talent and boosts the growth of table tennis,” said Mbabazi.,Speaking at the event, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Wang Xuekun, pledged more support to the RTTF to enable more countries from the region to participate in the annual tournament.,”I’m glad the Chinese Ambassador’s Cup has provided a platform for all the players to compete, improve and exchange. We will invite more and more neighboring countries to participate in table tennis competitions in the future,” said Wang.,He said that table tennis provides a platform to exchange and build friendships among participants.,”Let us work together to improve our cooperation and friendship,” added Wang.,He praised all staff at the RTTF and the Chinese embassy as well as the Chinese community in Rwanda for organizing such a memorable event so professionally.,”I thank the Chinese embassy for supporting the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation over the past five years. We have been doing a lot to develop the game of table tennis in Rwanda since 2017 and the Chinese community has been of great support to us,” said John Bosco Birungi, president of the RTTF.,He commended countries and teams that participated in the competition.,”This is the first time we have opened the Chinese Ambassador’s Cup to other countries in the region. Previously it was an internal tournament because we were building the game in Rwanda,” said Birungi.,Table tennis links the peoples of China and Rwanda and boosts people-to-people exchanges, he added.,Last weekend’s event was the third staging of the tournament, which returned following a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.,Xinhua