RISING table tennis star Hannah Silcock made history when she became the first female of any age to win the Jersey senior qualifier for the Channel Islands Top 12 tournament.
The precocious Silcock, who is only 14 years old, won six of her seven matches at the Geoff Reed Table Tennis Centre on Saturday to top the round-robin group on countback, ahead of Grzegorz Frankowski. She beat her closest rival in straight sets, in their match: 11-9, 11-6, 11-7.
Her only slip was against Rafal Jedaski, to whom she lost 3-1, while victories came against Mariusz Cieminski [3-2], John Le Fondré [3-0], Leon Pierre [3-1], Kevan Moreira [3-1] and Alfie Sutherland [3-1] in an otherwise all-male competition.
The top six qualified to play against players from Guernsey on Saturday 29 January, at their St Clement home. Pierre, Cieminski, Jedrasik and Sutherland will all join Silcock and Frankowski at the competition.
‘It’s great experience for me competing against the best male players,’ Silcock, who hopes to play at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, explained. ‘When I compete in Jersey I just focus on trying to compete and win against any opponent.
‘Hopefully, by demonstrating that I am able to compete with the top male players, it will encourage more girls and women to take up table tennis in Jersey.’