January 24, 2018 / 11:06 AM / 7 months ago

Table tennis: Wales name 11-year-old Hursey in Commonwealth Games squad

(Reuters) - Wales have picked 11-year-old wonderkid Anna Hursey in their table tennis squad for the this year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, Team Wales announced on Wednesday.

Last year, aged 10, Hursey became the youngest player to represent Wales’ senior table tennis team when she helped her country beat Kosovo in the European Championship qualifier.

Hursey, who took up table tennis at the age of five, said she hopes to make the most of the opportunity without putting too much pressure on herself.

“I don’t normally get nervous. I know I am so young and will have lots of chances,” she told BBC Wales.

“Sometimes you can’t believe how many people are going to be there and if the Queen was there, that would be a dream.

“I feel proud of myself but I don’t feel that nervous - when I am there I probably will be. I think I have a really good mindset, you can’t give up when you are losing or you won’t get better.”

Hursey aims to put her best foot forward at the Games and has already stepped up her preparations.

“I am going - and that’s really good - but hopefully I can show some people that I’m good at this sport and not just going there to have fun,” she added.

“I play about three hours a day after school and sometimes I go out running with my dad, it’s all right once you get used to it.”

Team Wales added 93 athletes to their roster, including their first diving entrant in 20 years in Aidan Heslop, aged 15.

It brings the total tally up to 124 competitors across 11 sports and para-sports ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which will be staged on Australia’s Gold Coast from April 4-15.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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