Anna Hursey will bid to become the first Welsh table tennis player to qualify for the Olympic Games when she competes in a five-day tournament Bosnia, starting today (Wednesday May 15th).

The teenager will play in the European Olympic qualification event in Sarajevo, aiming to finish in the top five to earn her place in Paris this summer.

Anna, 17, is the British number one female player and broke into the world’s top 100 earlier this year. She is currently ranked 98.

Even if Anna – who was born in Carmarthen before moving to Cardiff – fails to gain Olympic qualification this week, she could still gain her place in the Great Britain squad for Paris through selection.

The Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in Birmingham in 2022 would convince the GB selectors she is worthy of entry for the Paris Olympics women’s singles event if she takes her world ranking to around the 80-mark, although they may opt to pick her anyway even if she remains in the 90s.

Having moved rapidly from a position of 163 last summer, Hursey is considered to have shown huge potential at world level.

Anna told us……

“It was a nice surprise when I broke into the top 100, but I am still trying to get my ranking as high as possible.

For me, the Olympics is possible. I am playing in a lot of competitions and I am training really hard, but I’m also just trying to enjoy the process and not think so much about the outcome.

It would be a dream to qualify and if I keep improving then I think I’ve got a really good chance.”

Anna recently attended a Table Tennis Wales club session in Cardiff where she played an exhibition match against Welsh men’s champion, Callum Evans.

Anna added…..

“It’s important for me to help spread table tennis as much as I can.

Anyone, of any age, can play table tennis and we have some good young players coming through in Wales. As well as competing, it’s a sport that has allowed me to travel around the world, which I love.”

Anna earned headlines around the world when she represented Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia at the age of 11.

She was believed to be the youngest person ever to compete at a Commonwealth Games.

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