23 May 2017

Success against Algeria’s Naim Karali, having one round earlier at the semi-final stage caused a major upset by beating Egypt’s Aly Ghallab, the top seed, secured gold on Saturday 15th April for Tunisia’s Kerem Ben Yahia in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF-African Junior and Cadet Championships in Tunis.

Now as a direct result of the fine performance, he has been selected to represent his country at the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships which commence in Düsseldorf on Monday 29th May.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, he will celebrate his birthday in the German city; he will be 21 years old on Sunday 4th June.

Additional to competing in the Men’s Singles event, he will partner the 11 months older Thameur Mamia in the Men’s Doubles, a player who competes in the French League and with whom he has been preparing in the French west coast city of Bordeaux. In the Mixed Doubles, he joins forces with the very promising Fadwa Garci.

He spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-Africa Press Officer.

I am honoured and very happy to play for my country. I live and study in France but I am always willing and eager to represent my country. I see it as a rare privilege and I want to make sure I utilize it to the optimum.

Playing in this World Championships constitutes for me a continuity of my African Under 21 Men’s Singles title won this year in Tunisia. I am very motivated to enjoy this international adventure. I am motivated to do well in competition. We will see what happens after the tournament as I am looking forward to playing in this event; winning matches will be great thing for me.

My own target is to gain experience, earn points on the world ranking and use it to prepare especially for the next international competitions this year. Honestly, I don’t think African players can make it to the podium.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Kerem Ben Yahia

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