Since Allan Arnachellum started representing Mauritius as a junior player in 2006, he has remained an integral part of the team to series of competitions including Commonwealth Games. His dedication to the team coupled with his commitment to table tennis, he has been named the captain of the strong Mauritius team for the 2018 ITTF African Championships.

Being the host of the tournament, the 28-year-old believes they are motivated to excel in front of the home fans.

“First of all, we are very happy to have the African Championship in our country and we are really motivated for the competition. We are mentally and physically prepared for the big day,” he said.

“There are many good teams coming like Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and Congo Brazzaville arriving, as captain of the Mauritius Table Tennis team our goal is to achieve a bronze medal.

“I also want to put up a good performance and improve my world ranking. It is also a great preparation for us for the 2019 Indian Ocean Games.”

For Allan Arnachellum, the Nigeria team led by Aruna Quadri will be a hard nut to crack. “I admire my favourite player Aruna Quadri from Nigeria. The Nigerian team will be difficult to beat in the tournament.”

He also believes the support the team is getting from government would surely motivate them to aim high. “First of all, we would like to thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Olympic Committee which helped us a lot in our preparation. We also thank the Mauritius Table Tennis Federation (MTTA) for engaging the services of our Director of Technical, Cedric Rouleau since 2017.”

Eagerly looking forward to the exciting matches, he said: “I am very happy to take part in my first African Senior Championship and I am well prepared for this competition and do my best. Mauritius is a very good team and we have a good team spirit. Hopefully, we can expect a bronze medal in team event.”