by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Born in Algiers, Hiba Feredj moved to the London when six years old; she learned her table tennis skills in Edgware, a suburb in the north of England’s capital city.
However, encouraged by her grandfather, Sarri Ramdane, who supported her efforts, she decided that her allegiance was to the country of her birth; the ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament in Mauritius last year was her international debut. The tournament immediately preceded the African Junior and Cadet Championships
“This is my first time of playing in this kind of competition and it will be good to compete at senior level. I am not giving up on Algeria making it to the podium because I know Nigeria and Egypt are the favourites in Morocco”, said Heba Feredj when speaking to Olalekan Okusan, the Press Officer for the African Table Tennis Federation.
Bronze is undoubtedly the goal with Egypt, Nigeria and Congo Brazzaville being very much favourites for honours.
“I hope we can win bronze, silver would be better but there are strong teams in the tournament”, added Hiba Feredj. “In the team event, I think we can make it to the semi-finals for sure maybe even final but we just need to keep our heads straight and believe; I’m sure we can do it because anything is possible,”
A strong mental approach and that would seem to be a strength of Hiba Feredj who is who is approaching the tournament in a realistic manner.
“Maybe I can cause one surprise but I do not know as I have never played in this competition before”, continued Heba Feredj. “It would be nice to get somewhere but mainly to get a medal in the team event and qualify from the group stage in the singles.”
It is daunting task for Heba Feredj but it was the same some 18 months ago in Mauritius and the outcome was gold; she has cause for confidence.