Career Highlights: The world’s top-ranked player and current world champion, Ding travels to London as the odds-on favorite to capture singles gold in her Olympic debut. She was added as a replacement for Guo Yan, who qualified for one of China's two allotted singles spots but is suffering from an undisclosed injury, according to Chinese officials. Ding was ranked third at the ITTF cut-off date for qualification, but has risen steadily to hold the top spot since November of last year. She defeated teammate Li Xiaoxia in the finals of the 2011 worlds in six games to avenge a fourth-round loss to Li in the same event two years earlier. Ding and Guo Yan have formed a doubles team that has finished second at the last two worlds to the top-ranked duo of Li and Guo Yue. China has captured 20 of 24 gold medals since table tennis entered the Olympics in 1988. A team gold is virtually guaranteed for Ding, who can become a sporting icon in her homeland by also winning in singles.