By Gareth James
Charlotte Carey triumphed over another higher-ranked player to reach the next stage of the European Singles Olympic Qualification event in Portugal.
The 24-year-old – the lowest seed in the three-woman group – ensured she topped Group B after beating Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova.
Carey, ranked 151 in the world, toppled the world No 139 by a convincing 4-1 scoreline in Guimares.
The Ebbw Vales ace took the first three games 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 and after losing the fourth 4-11 sealed victory by taking the fifth 13-11.
Carey’s victory came 24 hours after she beat Italy’s world no 71 Debora Vivarelli – 80 places ahead of her in the rankings – 4-2, coming back from two games down.
“Winning my first match here against Vivarelli,” said Spain-based Carey after her victory over the Italian.
“It was a win against a good player, a higher ranked player. I was looking for causing an upset and I am happy with the result.
“Being low ranked in the group makes every match, even in the group phase, very difficult. First goal is to pass the Group stage.”
Wales No 1 Carey will be joined in Stage 2 by Vivarelli who beat her Slovakian rival in the other game in the Group.
Carey is one of four Team GB players battling to secure qualification for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
There are 38 men and 41 women competing at the tournament and a total of nine places in Tokyo are available – five in the men’s event and four in the women’s.