Ross Wilson is well prepared ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games with the 17-year-old ready to unleash his strong backhand on the rest of the class 8 field.
Just four years ago, Wilson was practising to improve his game ahead of improving his English Cadet Boys’ ranking where he eventually secured a top ten place. However, movement became a problem, especially to his forehand side as he was diagnosed with Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia (MED), which is a rare genetic disorder found in one in 10,000 births that affects the growing ends of bones.
Not put-off by that problem, he overcame this obstacle and focused his attentions on the Para table tennis circuit and in March 2011, he played in his first ever international open when he travelled to Eger for the Hungarian Open.
From there on the 17-year-old has never looked back and just 18 months later, Wilson, the number four seed for London, is representing his country in the ExCeL – the same venue as Olympic gold medalist Zhang Jike.
Wilson is a local lad coming from Sittingbourne – a mere one hour drive away from the ExCeL, and his ‘home’ tournament could not come sooner.
He said: “Sure I’m nervous but I’m also looking forward to playing. It’s the first time I’ve been in the hall; all the seats, it’s incredible.”
Wilson practises full-time at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield under the watchful eye of High Performance Director for the Great Britain Team; Gorazd Vecko.
Vecko, whose families are split between his wife and children in Ljubljana and his Para table tennis family in Sheffield (Both Aaron McKibbin and Will Bayley live in the same bungalow), has Wilson under intense training which sets a perfect example for other potential athletes in the sport.
Vecko said: “He is like Mateja Pintar (Paralympic gold medalist in Athens), He is a hard worker, he trains five hours a day, after having been at physical training at 7am, he is incredible. I have coached in many countries and he is more professional than full-time able bodied players!”