Nine-year-old Sebatindira Africa’s sole hope in Europe

UTTA vice president Francis Mulinda, Coach Katumba, Sebatindira, NCS official Anne Nankya and UTTA boss Robert Jjagwe at the flagoff in Lugogo. PHOTO/ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

What you need to know:

Before winning a historic gold medal in Cairo, Sebatindira and his coach Alvin Katumba attended the China/Africa camp.

Nine-year-old Joseph Sebatindira will be the only African player at the three World Table Tennis Youth Contender  Championships in Europe which started Wednesady.

The shy gem made history by winning Under 11 gold at the WTT Youth Contender in Cairo, Egypt last October, becoming the first Ugandan to win a table tennis world title ever.

In January 2024, Sebatindira proved that his Cairo conquest was not a one-off,  winning another U-11 WTT title in Doha, Qatar before adding the Under 13 gong at the same event.  

Yesterday, he made a successful European debut with four 3-0 wins to top his group against Polish opponents in the U-13 category at the WTT Youth Contender Wladyslawowo 2024 in Poland.

That gives him an advantage of meeting a lighter opponent in the Round of 16. 

In total Sebatindira will play  six competitions (U-11 and U-13) in three countries in three weeks, meaning he is vying for six trophies. 

From Poland he will proceeding to Helsingborg in Sweden and conclude in Sandefjord in Norway in mid-June.

Interestingly, Sebatindira could be the youngest among his nine competitors but his recent performances against fellow juniors and seniors has given him the best world ranking. In the U-11 category he ranks 408th with 200 points. Mongolia’s Tuvshinsaikhan Ganbaatar comes a distant second in 1092nd place with a paltry 21 points.

While in the U-13 category, Romania’s Albert Czigler comes second with an 884th ranking with 43 points.

“We have a lot of faith that Joseph and Alvin will make us proud at these three championships,” Robert Jjagwe, the Uganda Table Tennis Association president told Daily Monitor.

Francis Mulinda, Jjagwe’s deputy, also tipped Sebatindira for glory.

“The boy is young but has gained exposure from different tournaments. He’s getting more confident. And I think he will triumph in Europe as well,” said the man whose tenure as UTTA boss Uganda its first Olympic appearance—at Barcelona 92.

Before winning a historic gold medal in Cairo, Sebatindira and his coach Alvin Katumba attended the China/Africa camp.

The duo will also attend the ITTF Rising Stars Training Camp in Halmstad, Sweden from May 29 to June 4 before the WTT Youth Contender Helsingborg 2024.


World Ranking: 408th

Points: 200


May 22-25: Wladyslawowo, Poland

May 29-June 4: training camp, Halmstad, Sweden

June 5-8: Helsingborg, Sweden

June 10–13: Sandefjord, Norway