After her failed attempt in Khartoum, Sudan to miss out from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil as well as competing at the 2016 World Championships in Malaysia, Islem Laid never had any chance to prove her worth with the Algerian national team.

But she continued working hard to convince the Algerian technical team of her quality and this paid off for her as she has been included in the Algerian team to the 2017 World Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The excited Islem Laid described her return to the team as a proud moment for her. “There is no word to describe how happy and proud I am to be back in the team. I feel very honoured to represent Algeria at the international scene again. Now, we have a new president that knows about table tennis and I know he will do his best to bring Algeria to the top. It is new start and I believe in the new federation team.”

The France-based Youth Olympian described her exclusion from the team as a learning process for her. “I was very sad over my exclusion from the team because it was not only about table tennis, it was about the love that I have for my country. Not representing Algeria gave me more motivation to practice harder to prove that I have my place in the team,” she said.

On the joy of putting on the colours of Algeria, she said: “I’m honoured to wear the colors of my country and to represent Algerian people in table tennis.”

Despite setting a target for herself in Germany, Islem Laid is eagerly looking forward playing in the city of Dusseldorf.

“My goal in Germany is to do my best to fight until the last point and to enjoy to the maximum. Apart from this, I’m very excited as it has been a dream I had when I was a little girl. I could recall that I visited Bremen to watch a championships and I was impressed, as well as running after champions like Jean Saive and Wang Ligin to get their autographs. I never imagined myself that one day I will be playing in the same competition as these legends. I feel blessed.”

Having featured in World Championships in France, China and Malaysia, Islem Laid tips Egyptian duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref as potential contenders for Africa in Germany.