Sports

Mutua urges more practice time to sharpen table tennis talents in Kenya

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 4 – After losing his match at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, table tennis top seed has called for more training sessions to improve talents in the country.

Mutua says more practice time and investment in the sport will enable them compete against their more experienced counterparts from other countries.

“I would say we need more time to practice because unlike many of our opponents, we do not get much time to do that. If you look at the competition, most of them train for up to eight hours a day because they consider it a full-time occupation. If we could do the same in Kenya, then many of us can become world-class like them,” he said.

Brian Mutua in action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Photo/KELLY AYODI

Mutua, making his second appearance at the Club Games, lost 4-2 to Mauritius’ Akhilen Yogarajah yesterday afternoon.

Despite the setback, he was counting his blessings from a tough day on the court.

“I am glad that I came and competed at the championships. I believe I performed really well but for a few mistakes. What I need to do now is to rectify these errors from my game as I prepare for my next match,” he said.

“The game was quite tough but overall, I played well. There were a few mistakes at the end that cost me, especially with my service reception,” Mutua added.

Kenya Table Tennis Association secretary Faid Daim lauded Mutua for his spirited performance and backed him to exert revenge on his African counterpart in their subsequent meetings.

“We were surprised by his performance because he really pushed his opponent to the wall. He was just unlucky; I predict that next time the two meet, Mutua will win by 4-0. He is a very talented lad who has really grown,” Daim said.

He is optimistic Mutua’s accomplishments thus far will inspire a new generation of players even as KTTF embarks on a talent development programme.

“We are hoping he will be an inspiration to the young players back home. We are now concentrating on developing talents and giving them opportunities to grow. Hopefully, they can follow in Mutua’s footsteps,” the retired table tennis player said.

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