by Wade Townsend
Anna Hursey has averted a comeback from Jiayi Zhou in the Cadet Girls’ singles, to win her opening group match 3-2.
Hursey, a member of Team Hopes here in Fiji, led Zhou 0-2 and had a match point at 10-9 to close it out. But the New Zealander defender scraped through and stole the third 10-12. Soon there score was levelled at 2-2.
It would have brought back some fresh memories of defeat for the Welsh athlete.
When Oceania and Hopes clashed in the Girls’ Team Event, it was Zhou that came out on top in straight games.
The final game went down to the wire. Hursey led from the start, but at 10-9 it was anyone’s game.
“It’s constant work because she’s a chopper. It’s really hard and tiring so I had to concentrate more.” Anna Hursey
Hursey found the missing point and notched up her first win in the group stage.
Meanwhile, Team Fiji-Pacific’s Jai Chauhan had the time of his life playing against Latin America’s Matias Velarde on the second show court in Vodafone Arena.
The stadium was well and truly behind the Fijian. The seats filled with local school kids who had come to cheer for their classmate. Chauhan put on a show as the crowd chanted his name from beginning to end.
Despite the occasion, the young Fijian wasn’t intimidated by the occasion, and had a positive attitude for beginning to end.
Sweating and smiling after the game, he was already looking at his schedule for when his next match would be.
The young Fijian says he had fun out there on the show court, and learnt a lot.
So what did he take away from the match?
“Don’t rush,” says Chauhan.