Bruna Takahashi has always blended in with the medal favourites from Asia’s table tennis powerhouses, thanks both to her Japanese surname and to her considerable abilities. Yet after her flawless display in Group G of the women’s competition at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, the Brazilian is beginning to believe that she can take the top prize.
Takahashi staked her claim as a genuine contender for gold by winning all three of her group matches 4-0, with New Zealand’s Hui Ling Vong, Poland’s Anna Janina Wegrzyn, and Fiji’s Grace Rosi Yee providing her victims.
Next up for the Brazilian is a Round of 16 tie against Sabina Surjan of Serbia on Tuesday 9 October. Yet though she is full of confidence for the encounter, she believes China and Japan’s representatives are still the main favourites for gold.
“I see myself as a possible contender for gold, but they’re definitely the ones to beat,” said the 18-year-old Takahashi. “I know it’ll be very difficult, but I’ll give it my all.
Takahashi, who owes her Japanese surname to her father’s grandparents, has been perfecting her skills since taking up the sport ten years ago: “I started out a sports club near my house. Within a couple of years I was training pretty hard and playing in international tournaments. I started to win and I liked it a lot.”
If she keeps her winning streak going at Buenos Aires 2018, the high-flying Brazilian will no doubt enjoy her sport even more.