Tunisia was entrusted with the world junior table tennis championship in 2021, and this during meetings of the International Federation for the discipline, held Wednesday in Budapest (Hungary).
The members of the executive committee and the board of directors of the international body voted unanimously for the holding of the next world for the first time in Tunisia which succeeded in the past to organize several regional and continental events of tennis of table.
Hungary is currently hosting the senior world championship
It has been almost a month since the African Championship ended. How do you judge your 10 th continental title?
“I am very satisfied. This performance comes at the best time for me. It is a very good preparation for the World Championship next September. But it must be said that this title has a very exceptional taste for me. It is extremely magnificent to be crowned in your country and in front of a very large audience which has not ceased to encourage me throughout the competition. It is as if it was the first time in my career. I especially wanted to share the adventure with the Tunisian public ”.
what are your goals in the 2019 World Championship?
“It’s a very tough competition but when I start a competition, it’s absolutely to win it. The main objective is mainly to go as far as possible and try to snatch the gold medal which is still my dearest dream. It is very important for my record especially after my disappointment in the 2017 World Championship. It’s time for revenge. I’m going to try to go get the world title ”.
Have you already started your preparation?
“Of course. I started preparing for the World Championship a long time ago. It’s a long-term job. Besides, the Tunisian Wrestling Federation has set up a well-rounded preparation program to help me get to Astana in the best conditions. In the meantime, I will participate in several competitions, notably in Turkey and Italy to improve my world ranking. Something that will help me avoid the big players in the first rounds. ”
Is the dream of an Olympic medal in Tokyo already in mind?
“Absolutely, I have already started the straight line which should lead me to the Tokyo Olympic Games. I am aware of the difficulty of my mission, but I am a woman of challenge. It’s going to be hard, very hard, but I’m ready to pay the price that it takes. Another Olympic medal is worth a lot. I know what I want and I will put in the necessary ingredients to succeed. ”
What memorable memory do you keep in your wrestling career?
“There have been many unforgettable moments in my sports career . But the most touching and memorable moment in my life as a wrestler will undoubtedly remain my bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It was the best day of my career! Frankly, I was at the height of joy. It was fantastic, I don’t really have the words. I knew how to seize my chance, I worked a lot to realize this dream. Really, this moment will forever be etched in my memory, especially that I snatched the victory in the last three seconds of the fight. Everyone believed that the game would end in favor of my opponent. But I never gave up, I struggled to the end and I never lost confidence in myself. ”
And the worst ?
“Frankly, I went through several failures during my career, like all sportsmen for that matter. But if I have to quote a specific moment, it will undoubtedly be during the world championship in Paris in 2017. I started the competition with great ambitions, I had the dream of the gold medal in mind. Finally, I lost the final on small details. The end result could have been much better than a silver medal. It was my biggest disappointment. I have already had so much difficulty dressing my wounds and going up the slope after this poor performance. It was horrible ! “
Could you give advice to young wrestlers?
“Work, work and work. This is the key to success for a top athlete. To hope to go very far in this very particular discipline, especially for girls, given the specificities of our society, it is absolutely necessary to whip very hard, constantly and daily. Nothing should be left to chance. At the start of your career, you should never think about money. It will certainly come over time. You have to know how to make sacrifices. The most important thing is to appreciate what we are doing and to focus on training. ”
Ben Chrifia, the hero of Lumbumbashi
What to say? Can we speak of a quasi-risky refusal of play adopted by Hope? Frankly, there is a bit of that because the troop of Mouîne Chaâbani huddled in the rear guard for a large part of the match, especially in the second half.
However, this was what we feared the most before this second round because the inconsistent advance of the first leg did not allow this kind of choice at very very high risk in the face of an attack by the “Ravens”, capable of making fly at all times.
For some specialists who banish risk, it was a kind of game with fire. Because at times, we had the impression that Esperance was playing a tightrope walker without a pendulum and suspended between two skyscrapers. It was also as if we literally dumped on the luck of the draw. Admittedly, luck was on the side of Espérance especially in the 92 ‘when the ball had crashed on the crossbar of Ben Chrifia.
But sometimes luck smiles on the brave who behave like heroes. And that’s really what the defense of Espérance and especially its keeper Moez Ben Chrifia, undoubtedly the man of the match in Lubumbashi, showed. This last bulwark of the remarkable defensive device of Hope annihilated all the dangerous actions, by saving its nets with brilliance on several clear occasions (35 ‘, 44’, 57 ‘, 67’ and 94 ‘).
Over time and faced with the rising frenzy of “Ravens”, it seemed like the visa for the final was in the strings of “Blood and Gold”.
Good coaching from Chaâbani
Indeed, in addition to the luck that turned its back on TPMazembé, there was good coaching from Mouîne Chaâbani who knew how to rectify the shot just as his defense was going to weaken.
It was when the Congolese wingers increased their lateral operations to harass the Axial Chammam and Dhaouadi. It was the best time to incorporate Mohamed Ali Yaâcoubi. It was exactly at 65 ‘when the latter took the place of Taha Yassine Khénissi.
It was believed, however, that at that time, Esperance could try its luck in killing the match with a deadly counter, because all the Congolese players had massively rushed in attack with the aim of setting the record straight and, why not, turn things around afterwards.
In the end, it was better like that, because there was no hope that the Esperance attack line was capable of achieving the expected big blow before this match. Anis Badri and Yassine Khénissi were amorphous and far from their usual inspiration. And Youssef Blaïli, who was marked very closely, was like a single swallow who could not make spring.
Thus, Hope emerged unscathed from the formidable bee-eater of Lubumbashi. And suddenly, she reached the final with a good chance of offering her fans and all of Tunisia another continental trophy. But it will first be necessary to repeat the feat of 2011 when Esperance had won over the Casablanca Widad in the final (1-0) at Radès after a draw (0-0) at Casa. It will also require the story to stutter.