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Parker's Commonwealth ambition

05 July 2002

Katy Parker has already played table tennis all around the world, but the 17-year-old can't wait to play in Manchester at this month's Commonwealth Games.

Katy Parker

Katy Parker: wealth of experience

The Preston-born England number insists that winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games on her own doorstep would top anything she has achieved in her career so far.

And 17-year-old Katy would even place success this summer above the time she became the youngest person ever to represent England in a competitive tournament.

She started playing when she was a toddler and was only 12 in 1997 when she was a part of the squad that participated in the world championships which Manchester hosted.

"It was a great experience to be involved in the world championships when I was so young but this is completely different," said Katy, whose mum, Jill, is England's assistant manager and was a player of some note.

"I've played in most of the countries in Europe, as well as in Singapore, Malaysia and China.

"They've all been places that I'll never forget but to win something here would beat everything."

Katy, who only found out about her Games call-up less than a month ago, will have a chance to test out the new plush table tennis arena at Sportcity tomorrow when England play Sweden in a practice match.

However, like so many other athletes who will be involved, she just can't wait for the Games to begin on July 25.

"It will be brilliant," she beamed. "Everyone is really looking forward to it and it will be quite a spectacle.

"The facilities are first class and it will be a tremendous experience for all the people."

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