It is one thing to be extraordinary, it’s another to be officially certified as such. To be the only one in the whole world who can do what you do.
The road to 3 Guinness World Records with trickshotter Alikhan Kazia
Meet Kenyan Guinness Book of World Records, record holder.
Alikhan Kazia, at 23 years old, holds three Guinness Book of World Records titles.
He holds the record for the most ping pong balls bounced into a cup in one minute, the fastest time bouncing ping pong balls into five cups for an individual and the most table tennis serves into a cup in one minute.
But before the world records, Alikhan’s story starts from what he proudly calls a well-rounded family.
Alikhan visited Pulse Live Kenya’s 360°Studio where he gave us the opportunity to get to know him a little better, and wouldn’t you know it, he came along with his famous sister - journalist Maalika Kazia.
Youngest of 4 siblings
“My family is very well-rounded, not even just in sports but in a lot of other things that we do. I have three older sisters and I’m the fourth born. My eldest sister is a qualified Psychiatrist, the second born is a Speech and Language Therapist, the third one - as you all know - is former KTN anchor Maalika Kazia and she’s been very successful even as a radio presenter on three stations. I also have a close cousin who is a medical Doctor. I’m very proud of my family,” Alikhan tells us.
The record-breaker goes on to narrate that his family believes he inherited the sports genes from his late grandfather.
“They say I inherited it from my grandfather who actually used to play during colonial times with the national cricket and volleyball teams. They say I inherited his abilities and I’m glad I get to show it because I never got to meet him,” the trickshotter tells Pulse Live.
This world record holder discloses that he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, one he attained when he was 21 years old and one he uses in his daily life.
Alikhan is the Supervisor at Ballpoint Social Club, Village Market, a fact - he tells us - is little known about him but one he is glad to share.
“I finished my Bachelor’s degree in 2019, when I was 21 and it was a great learning process, I really enjoyed the course. My dream was to do Sports Psychology but since I started interacting with kids and coaching them, the dream has changed. I'm looking to do sports coaching.
“I do use the knowledge I gained from Psychology especially when I deal with customers at work, like sometimes someone will come in and I’ll understand that maybe they are having a rough day so I will try not to aggravate them, or when they are having a great time then I can tell what will elevate their experience,” he narrates.
Going for the first Guinness World Record
Alikhan was certified as the Guiness Book of World Records, record holder for most ping pong balls bounced into a cup on May 21, 2021 having beat the previous record which was 12.
He tells this writer that the journey to the world record was elaborate, involving a number of fixed requirements.
“It started when I got an email from Guinness World Records saying that they had noticed me on BBC Sport and they recommended some world records that I could attempt and I selected three, I’ve bagged one," he modestly noted.
He went on to give us a glimpse into what it was like going for his first Guinness world record.
“I identified someone who could record the footage of the attempt with some of the guidelines being that I had to be at least 2 metres away from the cup, the cup had to be a specific diameter with not less than 568 millilitres of water and I needed two witnesses, none of whom could be related to me. All the measurements had to be taken and verified before the attempt, captured on tape,” he narrates.
On the morning of the official attempt, Alikhan tells us that the day began early and Maalika helped him get ready.
“As early as 7 am, my sister and I were at the Aga Khan Sports Club setting up and practicing as we waited for the two time-keepers, two witnesses and the videographer to arrive.
“It took us four attempts before I actually broke the record. I only got nervous when I had hit the 12 mark and one of the witnesses told me to calm down, which actually pushed me to do more and I made 17, which was shocking,” he outlined.
By the time of going to publication, Alikhan had also been officially listed as the world record holder for the fastest time to bounce a ping pong ball into five cups at 2.00 seconds.
He also now holds the record for the most table tennis serves into a cup in one minute at 13 officially making him the second Kenyan athlete to hold three Guinness World Records, the first being Tegla Loroupe.
What next for a Guinness World Record holder?
To be so young and have accomplished that much, this writer was curious on how life may have changed for Alikhan since he broke the records and what lies in the future for a man on top of the world, literally.
"Well, the most recent change was Instagram verification for my @pongmasterske page after 15 attempts at verification. I'm still in shock that we got verified.
"To be honest, I don't know how I will use this newly gained title of Guinness World Record holder, it is still new to me. I don't know what I'm going to do with it but I have my advisors - mom and my sister - who will advise me on the next steps forward so, we'll see what next," he graciously answered.
He added that he has been coaching young students at the Aga Khan Academy and it's an interest he would like to pursue going forward.
He also tells us that he is not about to stop breaking records: "Now that I'm verified I obviously want to create more complicated trickshots and post more content on my page... I definitely think someone will break my record and if they do then I'll also break their record, I'm not going to stop breaking records."
Other than table tennis, Alikhan is also an archer and hockey player, the multi-faceted sportsperson tells us he explores other sports to avoid getting bored with the monotony of just one.
As we conclude the interview, Alikhan tells us a funny story from his primary school days which involved a classmate and her aunt who was a teacher at the school he attended. We'll keep that one under wraps.