Safa Saidani: Tunisia Table Tennis Star’s Travelling Pays Off | Generation Rise


(SAFA SAIDANI.
TABLE TENNIS.)
My name is Safa Saidani.I’m 25 years old, from Tunisia.I play table tennis.My dream is to be one of the
best players of table tennis.
Winning the Olympics,
winning a gold medal,
that is the most important
achievement.
In the Middle East
and North Africa,
the next generation of
athletes rise.
An elite force,
exceeding expectation…
..to reach gold.These are their stories,through their eyes.Safa is Tunisia’s greatest-ever
female table tennis player.
The title holder for
women’s singles,
doubles and mixed doubles,she has recently qualified for
the Olympic Games.
I started playing table tennis
when I was nine years old.
My dad made me fall in love
with it.
Bit by bit,
I started to get results.
I joined the national teamand now I’ve started to get
better results.
Safa’s coach is
charged with elevating
her competitive performance
to world championship level.
Safa is a spectacular player.
Since she was a child,
all the coaches predicted
a great future for her –
an athletic path full of titles
and trophies.
But Safa faces serious
obstacles on her journey
to becoming one of
the world’s best players.
To become a professional
in table tennis,
the opportunities
that we have in Tunisia
and the players
that we have in Tunisia
hold us back from these things.To reach Olympic levels of
performance,
Safa has had to travel to
international events
since she was 12.In two days,
she’s leaving Tunisia again
and is competing at Africa’sbiggest table tennis event
in Nigeria.
I am always
waiting for the weekend.
I’m always waiting to go back
home, to see my family,
eat my mother’s cooking,sit with my dad,
stay up late and talk.
In the morning,
have my breakfast with him.
At first it was hard.She went to Lebanon when
she was 11 or 12 years old.
She was young.I feel they are sacrificing
with me.
They support me too much.My mum and dad are
my whole world and my life
and they are the crown
on top of my head.
Safa knows that to be the best,she must play the best,
and she’s committed herself
to a life away from home to
realise her Olympic dream.
Two days later, Safa
and her coach fly south,
from Tunis to Lagos –the host city of the Nigerian
table tennis open.
This is my first tournamentto prepare for
the Olympic Games
and my first time in Nigeria.The Nigerian Openis the biggest table tennis
competition in Africa.
A professional event,competition winners
will each receive a share
of the $46,000 of
prize money.
Contestants are entered into
the tournament draw
according to their
international ranking.
Safa is joining forces
with a closely ranked player
from Mexico to compete
in the women’s doubles event.
It’s the first time
playing together.
It’s also my friend, so I’m
really happy to play with her.
Safa’s first opponents are
Lagos locals,
representing Nigeria.And Safa’s skills deliver
sudden victory.
It’s not that easy, because
there are players that are
stronger than me
and better than me at playing.
If God wills, I won’t be an
easy opponent and lose easily.
In the second match,Safa and her team-mate face
tougher competitors.
And they are quickly
outclassed.
Safa’s team talks tacticsand they plan to attack with
power moves.
But it doesn’t pay off.I didn’t expect the level of
playing would be like this.
Their level is extraordinary
and high.
Safa, I know very well, because
I lost against her in Sudan.
You know, this is the kind of
defeat you remember
all your life, so I promise
myself that the next time
I will play against her,
whether in double or in single,
we will do our very best
not to lose.
Although defeated, Safa has
gained crucial experience
right before the Gamesand she can’t wait for
her next match.
The name Safa,
I think they know it
because of the results that
I’ve achieved,
because of the players that I
played against in Nigeria.
God willing, they’ll know Safa
more in the upcoming years.
(SAFA COMPETED IN THE
PRELIMINARY ROUND
(OF THE TABLE TENNIS
WOMEN’S SINGLES EVENT
(AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
RIO 2016.
(THE EVENT WAS DOMINATED BY
PLAYERS FROM CHINA
(AND SAFA DID NOT PROCEED TO
THE FIRST ROUND.)

3 thoughts on “Safa Saidani: Tunisia Table Tennis Star’s Travelling Pays Off | Generation Rise

  1. Great video, but the summary of her Olympic run is quite misleading. Out of 64 (or 128, if I'm wrong) players, only two of them are Chinese, and they only started playing in the 3rd round due to their top ranking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *