by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer
Shane Overmeyer gained his place in Nairobi following success at the recent South Regional Championships in Botswana.
“It feels great especially winning my first African competition in the regional tournament in Botswana. I always knew that I was going to come back into South African national team after getting married in 2014.
My main motivation was that the current South African men’s team is not doing that well, the World ranking has dropped since the last time I played. So I want to help the team to better our ranking in Africa, the World and Commonwealth as well. Also with my experience I felt that they need my guidance so that is why my role in the team is player and coach at the moment.
I know it is going to be very tough with the likes of Quadri Aruna and Omar Assar having achieved unbelievable results in the last few years, record breaking world rankings African players have never done before. The level of play is much higher now than a few years ago. My aim is to finish in top eight of the Men’s Singles.
Physically I am in good shape and I think I just need to spend more time on the table. I am looking forward to the challenge though. I also think when you represent your country there is always going to be pressure to play well and do your best. I think for me it is no different as I always try to do my best when I play for my country.
I think Nigeria and Egypt will continue to dominate the sport because they have better structures in their countries in the form of coaching and competitions. Also they put in more hours in training to better their game. So if everyone has the mentality to be the best then automatically the level of play will go up and there will always be good competition.
It is simple if you want to be the best you simply must take yourself seriously and put in the hard work.”