Having represented South Africa for more than two decades, 38-year-old Shane Overmeyer is still a strong force in the national table tennis. Despite being away from the sport for few years, Shane Overmeyer fought his way back to the team and when the 2018 ITTF African Championships serve off on September 3, he will be performing dual roles of a player cup coach.

“I am really looking forward to the tournament because of my long absence from this competition because the last time I played it was in 2010 in Cameroon if I remember correctly.

“Personally I don’t have big expectations as I am going there as a player/coach so my focus would be more on the team than my individual expectation but of course I will try my best and make it to the podium,” Shane Overmeyer.

“Preparation has been going well as I have been spending more time in the gym and on the table as myself and Theo Cogill along with Simeen Mookrey have been training together regularly as part of our preparation for the tournament.”

On the chances of South Africa, he said: “I think it will be more difficult this time around because there is much better quality players as before but my approach is always the same. It doesn’t matter who I play I always play to win. I will try my best to make it to the podium. Like I said I have a double role as player and coach and my focus will be more on the well being of the team to play well for a medal,” Shane Overmeyer said.

On the standard of the sport in the continent, he said: “Like I said there is much better players then before so the standard is much higher then a couple of years ago which is good for the game and Africa as a whole and also means that table tennis in Africa is improving. If you look at the likes of Quadri Aruna and Omar Assar are the proof of this.

“My target in the tournament is to try my best and hopefully get a medal but as a team, we want to finish in the top four. I believe there is a record amount of entries with more African countries opting to come and play in this championship. So it makes it very interesting and exciting. Like I said, our aim as team realistically would be to go for top four placing.
On the favourite teams in Mauritius, Shane Overmeyer, “Of course South Africa is my favourite team. But I think everyone know by now that the two favourite teams in Africa for the past 15 to 20 years is Nigeria and Egypt and in Mauritius it will be no different.”