By Paul Jones
Anna Hursey has spoken of her pride after returning from Poland with a bronze medal at the European Youth Championships in Poland.
The 17-year-old Wales Commonwealth Games star became the first Welsh player to win a singles medal at the championships for 25 years, since Adam Robertson in 1998.
Charlotte Carey – Hursey’s doubles partner when they won Commonwealth Games bronze in Birmingham last year – was a double winner at the tournament in 2013.
Hursey battled through to the semi-finals and looked destined to fight for silver and gold, before a comeback from Romanian Ioana Singeorzan denied her.
Cardiff-raised Hursey led 3-1 at one stage but eventually went down 4-3 and had to settle for bronze.
“I’m extremely proud to win a medal for Wales in this Europeans championships,” said Hursey.
“I am a little bit disappointed to lose out on two medals in doubles but glad to have bounced back and won a medal in singles. I want to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me.”
— Owen Rodgers (@owenrodgers4) July 23, 2023
Wales national coach Stephen Jenkins said: “This achievement is very special and I am so proud of Anna for her fight and determination throughout the competition.
“She is the first Welsh female to win a singles medal at these championships and that shows just how hard this competition is.
“I know this is only the beginning and a stepping stone in her career.”
After coming from behind to overcome Hursey in one of the best matches of the tournament, Singeorzan said: “After being down 0-2, I told myself I had to keep calm and maintain my composure.
“When I was losing, I thought to myself that she is not the first player who left me in reverse. It happened many times, and still, I was able to win. It also made me very angry but in a good way. It motivated me to play even stronger.”
@Davidwebbertt @walesTT @gllsf @sportwales @BBCSport @Kings_InterHigh @UNFCCC @FeetInMotionAce @LinQsport @stirlofizz @ittffoundation @ETTU_TTennis
so touched & inspired that you flew all the way back to Cardiff with the team and then straight back to Poland to watch my match! pic.twitter.com/ZK9MmDOxpJ
— Anna Hursey Table Tennis (@annaLhursey) July 24, 2023
The medal is Hursey’s first major achievement in singles tournaments after she won a bronze at the Birmingham Games in the women’s doubles, alongside Carey.
Hursey also won a bronze in the U15 girls doubles at the World Youth Championships in Portugal in 2021.
Singeorzan was beaten in the final by fellow Romanian Elena Zaharia, 4-2.
@Kings_InterHigh @LinQsport @gcpawards@CardiffCityTTC@gllsf@chscurriculum@Grangetown_PS@BirchgrovePrm@SchoolGwyrosydd@walesTT @ETTU_TTennis @TeamWales @birminghamcg22 @UNFCCC @ittffoundation@Dai_Sport_
— Anna Hursey Table Tennis (@annaLhursey) July 23, 2023