NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – As the Kenya Table Tennis team prepares for the Olympic qualifier, Capital Sport had a chat with Kenya Number One Brian Mutua to follow up on his aspirations for the forthcoming International Table Tennis (ITTF) Africa top 16 championship, which will also serve as Tokyo qualifiers.
Q: Happy new year and congratulations for your performance in Uganda where you won the regional championship to qualify for the Africa Too 16 extravaganza. What was the secret behind your success?
A: played my group matches against Atwif from Uganda, Masoud from Tanzania and Aden from Ethiopia. I tried to remain composed throughout the whole tournament and played each game at a time. I also tried to minimize on the errors that I had made during my previous competitions.
I played against Josiah wandera in the semis and won 4-1 against Eddy Omongole in the finals and won 4-0.
Q: Uganda event qualified you to the Top 16 in Tunisia. What are your expectations given that the cream of the continents best will be there?
A: My main aim is to attack and defend well in all my matches, as most of the players are experienced, so I hope to get the best results. The essence is to give a good fight having been to the tournament before. I would also like to correct the mistakes I made during previous competitions and also take it as a learning experience. Having savoured a monthlong training in Denmark last year, I hope that I can qualify for the Olympics as this will be a dream come true for me.
Q: What areas of your game have you been working on well in time for Tunisia?
A: I really want to improve on my service, service reception and footwork. My loops are closer to where I want them to be.
In order to improve my footwork, I need to do more of physical training in order to be fit. So, I have been using the festivity period to jog and be in the best shape possible. I have been working on my backhand flick and forehand. Those are currently my strong points and one area I will use to deal with my ping pong adversaries.
I have played one top 16 tournament last year in March at Kasarani when we played host to the event. Brushing shoulders with the crème de la crème of Africa will be another great experience, so fingers crossed.
The one in Tunisia will be my second so I have a clue what to expect.
About Brian Mutua
Date of birth – 22nd MAY 1998
Previous Teams – MWALA HIGH SCHOOL
Current Team – CITY TABLE TENNIS CLUB.
Style of Play – ATTACK.
All-time favourite players – MA LONG.
Place of Birth – MACHAKOS
Kenya team debut – 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia.
2017 Eastern regional tournament in Mauritius
Top 16 African Cup, March 2018 in Kasarani, Kenya.
2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia.
2019 All-Africa Games in Morocco.