by Simon Daish
World Cup Underdog
Lady Ruano is making her debut at a Women’s World Cup and being the lowest seed (19th) at the event, it’s fair to say that the Colombian will be considered as an underdog player in Philadelphia.
However, that isn’t necessarily any reason to dismiss Ruano’s chances of a successful campaign with any victory she manages to register going down as an upset against a higher ranked opponent.
Some of you may be wondering how a player ranked 223rd in the world has managed to qualify for the World Cup, the answer to that question lies with the fact that Ruano is the Latin American Cup holder.
The title came as a shock to fans in attendance at the 2016 ITTF Latin American Cup and even Ruano (seeded 7th) herself was surprised as she overcame the second seed Yadira Silva (MEX) in the final.
Competing With the Best
Rio 2016 saw the world’s best Table Tennis players go head-to-head for Olympic gold in August, and Lady Ruano was also involved in the action.
With Rio 2016 being the first Olympic Games to be hosted in Latin America, there was an added importance for the continent’s athletes to qualify for the Games. Ruano achieved qualification following her victory against Yadira Silva at the 2016 ITTF-Latin America Olympic Qualification Tournament, but ultimately fell in Round 1 in Rio to Iveta Vacenovská (CZE).
Time Away From Table Tennis
Colombian Ruano as mentioned at the start of the article is 35 years of age, making her one of the older contestants at the Women’s World Cup. But an eight year absence from the sport due to her studies at University of Cundinamarca means that Ruano lacks some experience that other players her age might possess, which could provide for an interesting scenario if she is involved in any tight encounters.
Ruano to Stop Continental Rot?
Latin American contestants have struggled to impress at previous Women’s World Cups; could this finally be the year that one of the continent’s representatives makes the main draw? Or will even Lady Ruano’s best efforts not be enough to avoid yet more disappointment for Latin America at the Women’s World Cup?