07 Jun 2020

Increasingly in the last four years, Tunisia has become a growing voice among the top nations in Africa.

Earlier this year, the continent’s most northerly country staged the ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup and the qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; furthermore an increasing number of promising players is emerging.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Four years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Safa Saidani was Tunisia’s sole representative; now in Tokyo, the number is doubled. Adam Hmam and Fadwa Garci will compete in the respective men’s and women’s singles events.

Progress in Tunisia; great credit must go to Lotfi Guerfel, the President of the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation. Forward thinking and far seeing, supported in particular by Ghazi Belkahia and Hechemi Abid, both dedicated coaches, Lotfi Guerfel is taking Tunisia to new heights.

Major tournaments

Tunisia has hosted several major tournaments in the last seven years, African Junior and Cadet Championships, Arab Championships, Africa Hopes Week and 11 World Junior Circuit events. Now the major event on the horizon is the 2021 World Junior Championships when Tunisia will become the third African country to play host in the last seven years. Morocco was the home in 2013 and South Africa in 2016.

“Of course we learn from our mistakes; for next year, we hope we can stage the World Junior Championships. I can confirm to you that the tournaments are very good for promotion and attracting sponsors. They have also afforded the young players the opportunity to compete against the best in the world.” Lotfi Guerfel

Solid organisation

A very solid organisation has been put in place enabling the country’s aspiring young players the best opportunities possible to hone their skills. Aboubaker Bourass, 18 years old is presently based in Europe, Fadwa Garci and Adam Hmam are preparing for Tokyo.

“It is a new step in my career; actually it was an honour for me to compete with great players and learn from them during the qualifiers in Tunis. It was my first participation and fortunately, it was in my country; for this reason I was less anxious and more comfortable with the support from my friends and family. For Tokyo my goals are to try to play very well and learn from others.”

Fadwa Garci, eyes focused on Tokyo (Photo: Moezz Felah)


Notably the success of Adam Hmam, bronze medallist in the mixed team event with China’s Gu Yuting at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and that of Fadwa Garci has forced Lotfi Guerfel to change his thinking.

“For financial reasons, we have not committed to taking part in the 2020 World Championships but now that we have two tickets to the Tokyo Olympic Games with Adam Hmam and Fadwa Garci, it would be very beneficial for them to participate in quality tournaments and events in order to gain experience. Our two representatives at the Olympics will be subjected to an expanded preparation programme, including internships abroad but everything will depend on finance.” Lotfi Guerfel

Major strides for Tunisia, now a voice with which to be reckoned.

The message is clear from Adam Hmam (Photo: Moezz Felah)
General News Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Fadwa Garci Lotfi Guerfel Adam Hamam