by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the crucial contests, the United States recorded a three-two win in opposition to Puerto Rico, whilst Brazil beat Canada by three matches to one.
Mainstay of the Brazilian win was Bruna Takahashi; she accounted for Ivy Liao (11-7, 11-7, 11-9) and Alicia Cote (3-11, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8). The one further win was secured by Alexia Nakashima in the second match of the fixture against Alicia Cote (11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6); the one win for Canada came in the third match of the fixture when Justina Yeung overcame Tamyres Fukase (11-8, 3-11, 11-4, 11-8).
“I knew it would be a very difficult match and I had to play very well and I did, my team mates also played well; tomorrow we play the United States, it will be difficult but we will fight and give our best.”, Bruna Takahashi
Meanwhile for the United States in opposition to Puerto Rico, the player to cause the problems was Adriana Diaz. She recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Crystal Wang by the very narrowest of margins (10-12, 6-11,11-8, 11-9, 11-9) before rather more comfortably overcoming Amy Wang (11-7, 11-4, 11-5).
Alas for Puerto Rico, she was the only winner; Kassandra Maldonado was beaten by both Amy Wang (11-1, 11-4, 11-1) and by Crystal Wang (11-5, 11-1, 11-6), whilst in the crucial third match of the fixture, Mileysha Sanchez suffered at the hands of Rachel Sung (11-7, 11-9, 11-3).
“The first game against Adriana was very even; I was focused, in the second game I played well and just tried to play my best. I kept trying to continue to play the best I could but eventually I lost. I think Brazil and ourselves are of the same level; tomorrow we will give out best.” Crystal Wang
Brazil and we have similar levels. Particularly, I will try to give the best.
Earlier at the quarter-final stage, with no changes to the selection, Puerto Rico had beaten the Paraguayan trio of Cielo Mutti, Leyla Gomez and Lujan Rotela by three matches to one; with Grace Yang preferred to Rachel Sung, the United States had recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Peru’s Kelly Santur, Andrea Guzman and Gianella Huapaya.
In the opposite half of the draw Brazil had beaten the Dominican Republic’s Esmerlyn Castro, Cinthya Sanchez and Dahyana Rojas by three matches to nil; Canada had recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Ecuador’s Paola Cedeño, Nathaly Paredes and Emily Quinllin.
Brazil and the United States now contest the final; additionally, to determine the remaining two qualification places a second tournament organised on the same knock-out basis is staged. The quarter-final losers in each half of the first phase draw meet, the winners confron the losing semi-finalist in the opposite half of the draw to determine the two remaining places.
Thus, in the second phase, Peru met Paraguay recording a three-nil win; in a much closer contest the Dominican Republic secured a three-two success against Ecuador, the heroine for the Dominican Republic being Cinthya Sanchez. In the vital concluding match of the fixture, she overcame Paola Cedeño by the very narrowest of margins (11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).
In order to determine the two remaining places for Girls’ Team event at the forthcoming World Junior Championships, the Dominican Republic now meets Puerto Rico; Peru confronts Canada.
Play in the Girls’ Team competition concludes on Thursday 22nd June.
Photos: Paloma Mutti