More and more African players play in the mayor table tennis events. How do you explain this increase? Youssef Abdel-Aziz: «Indeed, the African presence in table tennis is improving. I think it is because there are lots of countries having one top player doing well by the senior so it is with Aruna (NGR, number 27 in the World) or Assar (EGY, number 21). They are stars. I am clearly not a star, just a normal player. But I hope to become like them».
Egypt has both girl and boy best junior African players. What about the reason why? «I think it’s all about a better practice. I would even say a little bit better in everything, like atmosphere too. In other African countries they maybe have less money to invest in the practice, in rubbers or plates, that are expensive. This is the main reason why Egypt is a little better than others African countries».
You just had a crazy progression the last two months, jumping from the 80th place in September to the 43rd in November. This is obviously a very good moment for you. What your ambitions are? «Yes, I am very happy here, everything is nice. I hope to play as well as I know I can do. I can improve further and I aim to give my best».
Can you tell us what you like in Italy? «It is my first time in Italy (laughs), normally I travel a lot. But until now I can say that the atmosphere is very good, everything is nice, the tournament is well organized and the hotel is nice. I want to take a look around in Riva del Garda, but we had no time to do that until now. Maybe after the Team Event, hopefully».