Anna Hursey

Wales' Anna Hursey. Pic: Getty Images

Anna Hursey Moving Towards Olympic Dream After Rapid Ratings Climb

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By Hannah Blackwell

Anna Hursey has become a contender for the Paris Olympics next year after seeing her world table tennis ranking rocket up from 163 to number 106.

The 17-year-old – already a veteran of two Commonwealth Games with Wales – needs to break into the world’s top 80 for automatic selection for the Great Britain squad and is heading in the right direction.

Hursey’s progress comes on the back of reaching her first senior World Table Tennis event in Doha, Qatar, where she took a silver medal.

In the final, Hursey came up against Joan Zeng of Singapore (world ranked 62) who triumphed, 3-0.

While the final wasn’t the result the Welsh teenager wanted, her progress can be gauged by the fact she beat three players ranked in the top 100 in the world and four players ranked higher than her on her way to the final.

She started with a win over Yoo (KOR) 3-0 in the last 64 followed by victory over world number 56 Liu (TPE) 3-2 in the last 32.

The last 16 saw Hursey beat world number 99 Lutz (FRA) 3-2 before beating world number 116 Ng (HKG) 3-2 in the quarter final.

The semi final saw a tight encounter with world number 52 Zhu (HKG) with Hursey booking her place in the final with a 3-2 win.

Hursey’s fantastic result comes on the back of a period of training in China and a block of senior and junior WTT events.

She now turns her attention to preparing for the ITTF World Youth Championships in Slovenia at the end of November.

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