TEENAGE table tennis sensation Hannah Silcock said her nomination for the Rising Star accolade at the 2022 Betway CI Sports Awards came as a ‘great surprise.’
Silcock (pictured below) has certainly had a year to remember.
As well as becoming the U15 British Home Nations champion and U18 British Schools champion, she represented Jersey at the Commonwealth Games, making it to the round of 32 where she was eventually defeated by Tin-Tin Ho after taking two games off the England number one.
Silcock also competed in a number of European events and finished the year representing renowned Brittany club Hennenbont, in the French league.
‘It was lovely to get the nomination,’ said Silcock. ‘2022 was probably my biggest and most challenging year to date. I played lots of table tennis and the head of GB Youth table tennis had also challenged me to gain more European experience so I started to compete in the World Table Tennis circuit in Europe.
‘The standard was really high but I managed to move into the world top 50 at U15 level.
‘Another great experience was qualifying for the Youth European Championships in Belgrade in the summer. I managed to reach the last-32 of the U15 girls single event. But the highlight at the tournament was teaming up with Larry Trumpasuskas from England and beating the top seeds from Romania in the last 32 of the [doubles] tournament.’
However, the highlight of the year for Silcock was without doubt her experience in Birmingham.
‘The standard was insanely high but it was great to come away with some wins in the singles and the mixed doubles,’ the 15-year-old added. ‘I really enjoyed playing with Jordan Wykes in the mixed doubles and it was great to get a 3-1 win against the favoured Cypriot pairing in the round of 64. I managed to have two matches on the show courts and the BBC streamed my match live against Tin-Tin. The atmosphere was really scary but the support I had from the Jersey crowd was immense and I was pleased that I managed to compete against her and give her something to think about at 2-2.
‘The opening and closing ceremony was brilliant and I was amazed at how many people saw me interviewed live at the opening ceremony. The noise from the crowd was really loud but it was a lovely memory to keep from the Games.’
With GSCEs taking priority for the JCG pupil, Silcock may not be so active in 2023 but she is still looking to progress in her sport with an eye on being among the gold medals at this year’s Island Games in Guernsey.
‘It is an important year as I am sitting my GCSEs in May and June,’ she
explained. ‘But I am continuing to train hard and compete in the UK and French tournaments. Playing more table tennis in France towards the end of last year at Hennenbont … I am really enjoyed the change of scenery and I am hoping it is going to help with my GCSE French.
‘But my main focus this year will be the Island Games. I have never competed in an Island Games before so I am looking forward to another new experience. We will be taking a strong team to Guernsey in July and it will be my 16th birthday that week when I am competing.
‘I could not have imagined the level of success that I achieved last year. It has been great to be able to compete and win some trophies but now it’s time to draw a line under 2022 and start to set some new objectives for 2023.’