His Instagram handle may be @duffman04 but Jake Duffy couldn’t be further than the brash, fast talking beer ambassador famed in the hit series The Simpsons.
Unassuming and quietly spoken, but with a seemingly understated confidence and competitiveness, Duffy is one of Australia’s leading table tennis prospects heading towards Gold Coast 2018.
But speaking at the recent ‘One Year to Go’ celebrations, the Gold Coast local is taking nothing for granted and knows he has his work cut out for him if he is to fulfil his ambitions of wearing the green and gold at a home games in 2018.
“Well, obviously I want to make it because it’s my home town,“ says Duffy, who enthusiastically points out that he lives ‘right near the tip’, pointing from the vantage point atop the Q1 Skydeck.
“It became realistic maybe at the start of last year, when I thought to myself, if I put my mind to it, I can make this team.
“At the moment, I’ve got to improve a bit this year with some big matches – but I think I can make it,” Duffy says.
That opportunity to improve will come in part when he represents Australia in the University Games in Taipei in August.
Back in 2015, Duffy’s efforts to improve his game took him on a six-month training trip to Sweden.
Off the back of that stint, his game improved sharply. But despite wins against some of the top ranked players in Australia, he stumbled in his efforts to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Still only 18 years of age, time is very much on Duffy’s side. However, with the rare opportunity to represent Australia on home soil in 2018, he will be doing all he can to secure his place in the Australian team. Oh yeah!