European Olympic Singles Qualification | 18 May 2024

Anna HURSEY and Britt EERLAND booked their tickets for Paris 2024

Photo: A. Djorovic

The first part of the 2024 European Olympic Singles Qualification in Sarajevo concluded with the triumph of Anna HURSEY of Great Britain and Britt EERLAND of the Netherlands in the Women's Event. HURSEY will play in her first Olympics, while EERLAND secured her third appearance.

Seventeen-year-old Anna HURSEY, a bronze medalist at the European Singles Championships in the Under-19 category, beat Georgina POTA of Hungary in her final match to qualify for Paris. The four-time Olympian lost after five games (9:11, 11:9, 8:11, 7:11, 4:11).

“It feels great to win this match. Last night, I woke up a few times. I was very excited. However, I did not feel so much pressure because I am still very young,” said HURSEY. “Against POTA, it was important to take away the pressure from my game. I played very well.”

Speaking of the challenges in Sarajevo, Anna replied:

“The tiredness was the hardest part. We had so many matches. I am used to playing one or two a day in other tournaments, but it was difficult here. I have played seven.”

On her way to the final day, Anna beat Harisa MESETOVIC of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivana MALOBABIC of Croatia, Marina DONNER of Finland, Dora MADARASZ of Hungary, Sara TOKIC of Slovenia, and Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia.

Photo: A. Djorovic

Unlike HURSEY, who will represent Britain at the Olympics for the first time, EERLAND will play in her third. Coming back from maternity leave, the Dutch star performed at a top level in Sarajevo. In the Olympic ticket match, Britt beat Barbara BALAZOVA of Slovakia (9:11, 11:4, 9:11, 11:6, 15:13, 11:6).

“I still cannot believe it, especially considering how it all went. I had to fight for each ball. Of course, I have some experience playing these kinds of tournaments, but it takes some effort to get my nerves together and focus on the fight,” said EERLAND.

Britt had a break after becoming a mother.

“Our big goal was to achieve this success. There were a lot of doubts about whether I could do it again after pregnancy. It feels like a bigger achievement now. Not so many players come back strong after pregnancy, and I am so happy. Of course, the Olympics are ahead of us, and we will see how will be there” said Britt.

EERLAND overcame Elisavet TERPOU of Greece, Sofia Xuan ZHANG of Spain, Aleksandra JERSOVA of Latvia, Hana MATELOVA of Czechia, and Tin Tin HO of Great Britain before defeating BALAZOVA.

“The match against Tin Tin was the most challenging. The pressure was so high, and at the point when I was 3:1 down, I was almost panicking, but I found a way to calm myself and play the right tactics to win.”

The competition continues with Stage 3. Three more tickets in each event will be distributed tomorrow.

You can watch all the matches live on and follow the results live here.

Pictures you can see here