11-year-old Welsh Table tennis player Anna Hursey aiming for a medal at CWG 2018
11 years is usually a time when most athletes take up a sport and learn the basics of playing the game. It is certainly not an age when you represent the country at an international event such as the Commonwealth Games. But Anna Hursey has always done things her way. And if qualifying for the Games wasn’t itself an achievement, the girl wants to bag a medal too.
It had all started with a trip to China, the powerhouse in the world of table tennis. Anna’s mother is of Chinese origin and she took her daughter to see the country when she was aged five. Anna developed an instant liking for the sport and came back to Wales to become the National Under11s champion. Things just snowballed after that, with regular trips to China to compete against the best in the sport. It took her another year to become the best Under 18s player in Britain.
She has already represented her country twice in 2017 and this would be her first CWG appearance. ‘Sometimes the older girls get really annoyed when they lose to me and they kick the barriers and stuff,’ she says with a little giggle.