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Ramsay courts perfection at Masters Games
Laura Ramsay is at the top of her game. And with a World Masters Games squash championship now under her belt, the 63-year-old Coquitlam woman is just getting started.
Ramsay defeated Susan Volzke of Australia in straight sets 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 to win gold in the over-60 division at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy earlier this month.
It was the first world title for the seven-time Canadian Masters champion — she placed third at the last World Master Games in Sydney, Australia, four years ago (winning in the doubles event) and was third again in the masters division at last year’s World Squash Games in Birmingham, England.
“Definitely, I think I’m getting better. I played way better [than in Birmingham]. Sydney was my first one and I was like a deer in headlights,” said Ramsay.
Ramsay was knocked out in the semis in Birmingham, never getting to face the eventual champion Volzke. She got her chance this time.
“When I watched [Volzke in the finals in Birmingham] I knew she was good but I thought I could beat her if I play my game,” said Ramsay, who later found out the Australian has been close to unstoppable.
“It felt really good to beat her, especially when they told me she hadn’t lost in 10 years.”
Ramsay said she didn’t feel in great form at the start of this year’s games, struggling to pull out a win in her second match.
“I kept practising and practising all week to try and get comfortable on the courts. About 45 minutes before the final match I finally felt comfortable.”
Although she might not have felt comfortable, Ramsay was still close to unbeatable, picking up straight-set victories over Jane Mackie of Australia (11-2, 12-10, 11-6) and Claire Bryars of France (11-5, 13-11, 11-8) on her way to the finals.
“I’m a street fighter when it comes to squash.”
Ramsay, whose husband Bob Wright picked up a silver at the World Masters Games in basketball, is still getting her head around the being the best in the world.
“You just kind of pinch yourself and ask did that really happen,” she said.
Ramsay plans to defend her title in four years time at the next World Masters Games in New Zealand and is also considering a trip to Hong Kong next year for the World Squash Games.
She’s been playing squash for close to 35 years, playing three to five times a week in the winter and keeping her skills sharp on the tennis court in the summer. And winning gold in Torino wasn’t the only highlight of the trip for Ramsay, who managed to squeeze in a game of tennis at Wimbledon on her way home.
“Again, I was pinching myself asking, ‘Am I really here?’”