Hu is looking to leave strong impression at GC2018
He's the top-ranked Australian men's table tennis player renowned for his impersonating skills, but Olympian Heming Hu wants to leave an impression of a different kind at GC2018.
Hu has represented his country in a number of international sporting events, including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Rio 2016 and last year’s World Championships, but it's his impressive skill of impersonating tennis greats that makes him so well-known within the table tennis community.
A self-proclaimed joker away from the tables, Hu earned the nickname ‘Mr Impersonator’ for his impressions, including a spot-on rendition of his hero.
"When I was younger I used to be around friends who would impersonate each other, in action and in voice, and I guess I picked it up from there," Hu told GC2018.com.
"Raf (Rafael Nadal) has always been a huge idol for me and he’s really easy to impersonate."
On the table the Victorian is all business, with the right-handed player notorious for his topspin and attacking style of play.
The 23-year-old picked up a racket when he was seven and at Glasgow finished 9th in both the men’s doubles, 17th in the mixed doubles and 5th in the team event, but Hu is eager to make a statement at GC2018.
It is why he is taking advice from his hero, Australian table tennis champion and veteran William Henzell.
"I’m working a lot with our past legend William Henzell," Hu said.
"We’ve been together practicing and talking. At any time I can call him on the phone and he can help me out and I can just tell him how I feel when I lost a match.
"As a kid, we all looked up to him, so the opportunity to talk to him and practice with him helps me a lot."
Recently returning from a stint in Germany, for a few league matches, as well as the Finland Open, where he came 24th, Hu is hoping his recent experience will give him an edge.
"It’s good to have these experiences under my belt and hopefully it can help me throughout this year," Hu said.
I’ll be training extremely hard for the Games this year to hopefully make something good happen.
"This one is really going to be special as it is a home Games."
Hu has been confirmed, alongside 11 other athletes, to represent Australia in the table tennis individual and team's competition at GC2018.
Joining him is Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist, Melissa Tapper, who will compete in both the able-bodied and para Table Tennis competitions, becoming the first Australian athlete to do so at a Commonwealth Games.
To support the Australian table tennis team at GC2018 this April, purchase your ticket today.
The Australian Table Tennis team heading to GC2018 is:
- Barak Mizrachi - Class 6–10 Singles
- David Powell
- Heming Hu
- Kane Townsend
- Trent Carter
- Xin (Chris) Yan
- Andrea McDonnell - Class 6–10 singles
- Chunyi (Tracy) Feng
- Jian Fang Lay
- Melissa Tapper - Teams and individuals/class 6–0 singles
- Miao Miao
- Michelle Bromley