by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It will be the 20 year old left handers debut in the prestigious tournament.
He spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF Africa Press Officer
I think I’m well prepared, I just did one week training with my teammates in Algiers and I’m going to continue the preparation with my club mates in Geneva before travelling to Morocco for the Championship.
It is my first time taking part in a such an event in Africa with the senior team, so I want to show that I deserve my selection. I do not want to disappoint by playing badly and I will do my best. Also if I can take advantage of a good draw, I’ll be glad if I can bring a medal to my country.
I think the standard of the game in Africa is evolving every year. The good results of some players, like Quadri Aruna who made it to the quarter-finals of Rio 2016 Olympic Games for example, has brought hope to everyone that we can reach a new level in the future. In my two participations in African Junior and Cadet Championships in 2015 and 2016, I saw a lot of young players in almost every country evolving very quickly in a good direction.
It’s going to be hard in Morocco but table tennis is a game where everything is possible. I hope an Algerian player can win the title. I’m sure that my teammate Sami Kherouf can make a surprise as he showed a very good level last October with a very close loss against Segun Toriola and earlier a victory against Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin.
Definitely our target in the long term is not to play second fiddle to countries like Egypt or Nigeria for too long. I truly hope that my teammate Sami Kherouf will spring the surprise but if it’s not him I hope a young player can make everyone end the reign of Quadri Aruna and Omar Assar
I hope I’ll manage to represent Algeria in the best way I can in terms of behaviour, playing level and results.
Algeria has put confidence in me and I don’t want to disappoint them. I’m still considering myself new to the team and I want to keep on proving that I deserve a place with them; this is the most important for me.