Liam Pitchford & Anna Hursey have a chance to book a place at Paris 2024 when they compete in the World Mixed Doubles Olympic Qualification tournament next week.

The combination is a relatively new one but has already had some eye-catching results, raising hopes of claiming one of the four qualifying places up for grabs at the competition in Havirov, Chechia.

Pitchford & Hursey, currently ranked No 67 on the world Mixed Doubles list, beat the Indian pair Sathiyan Gnanasekaran & Manika Batra, who were ranked No 8 at the time, at the WTT Star Contender Lanzhou in October.

They then narrowly lost to No 4 pair Kuai Man & Lin Shidong of China in the quarter-finals, having led the deciding game 7-5.

And in January of this year, they further underlined their potential at the WTT Star Contender Doha, beating highly ranked pairs Robert Gardos & Sofia Polcanova of Austria and Manav Thakkar & Archana Kamath of India before going out in the last 16 to top-10 duo Wong Chun Ting & Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong.

Pitchford & Hursey most recently played together at the WTT Feeder Manchester in February, reaching the quarter-finals, where they lost to the world No 22-ranked pair Luka Mladenovic & Xia Lian Ni of Luxembourg.

Pitchford said of the qualifying tournament: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough – there’s not many qualifying places and there’s a lot of good pairs playing.

“But even though we’re quite a new partnership we’ve shown in those few events we’ve played that we can beat some of the best pairs.”

The competition is essentially made up of four knockout tournaments – two played on Thursday April 11 and two the next day.

Each pair plays in one of the two draws on each day and the winning pairs will qualify, with four pairs booking their places in Paris. Those qualifying on Thursday will not play on Friday.

Pitchford feels he and Hursey complement each other well and said: “Anna’s really good on the receive, she’s got a lot of quality in that area and can put pressure on our opponents – and putting the man under pressure is a major positive – and hopefully that allows me to get in with a strong attack.

“She’s not got that much experience yet and I’ll be trying to help keep her as positive as possible. We’re going to have to play well but hopefully we get a good draw and can go out there and show what we can do.”