Table tennis teen ready for China
A PIETERMARITZBURG teenager will be heading to China to represent South Africa in table tennis.
Hashmika Heeralal, 15, qualified last week at the International School Sport Federation (ISF) elimination trials in Bloemfontein.
She is part of the final schools team selected to represent the country at the ISF World School Summer Games in China in October.
The Grade 10 Wykeham Collegiate pupil is currently ranked number two in South Africa in the U-17 category.
Hashmika started playing table tennis at the age of 10 as an extra mural activity, which she and her sister Bhavna attended.
She has participated in many league games and national tournaments such as the Arnold Classic and the South African National Championships where she won gold and silver.
“Representing South Africa has always been a goal of mine. Hard work, determination, sacrifices and a great support structure made this possible. My success is because of my family who are always behind me,” said Hashmika.
She said last week’s tournament was good, but tough and competitive.
“I’m happy to have made the team. This will be my first international competition. Table tennis pushes your mind to think of different tactics. It also strengthens your mental and physical capabilities,” she said.
Hashmika is part of the Chatsworth Table Tennis Association.
Her mom Nitasha said they travel on a weekly basis for training.
“The girls get invited to play league games and competitions at Maritzburg College. That was how Hashmika was selected to play in the school summer games in Pretoria in December 2019 where she she took silver. This was where she qualified for the ISF Elimination Trials.
“Hashmika has a very hectic schedule, but trains daily with her sister Bhavna, who is also a South African ranked player,” said Nitasha.