Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defending Champions End Brave Mexican Run in Cancun
Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto and Ligia Silva retained their Mixed Doubles title at the Latin American Championships in the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun on Wednesday 3rd March 2010, overcoming the host nation’s Jude Okoh and Yadira Silva at the final hurdle.

Urged forward by the local crowd Jude Okoh and Yadira Silva had excelled to reach the gold medal contest.

At the penultimate stage they overcame Venezuela’s Henry Mujica and Fabiola Ramos by the very narrowest of five game margins having progressed to the penultimate stage without ever seriously being threatened.
Ligia Silva (front) full of concentration in partnership with Cazuo Matsumoto (back)
Opened Account
They opened their account with four games victory over the teenage Ecuadorian partnership of Dino Suarez and Joselyn Peralta, before beating Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Ana Codina in three straight games to book a quarter-final place, where by the same margin, they defeated Colombia’s Juan Restrepo and Johana Araque.

A smooth road to the semi-finals then tension and it was the same for the champions elect.

The left handed penholder Cazuo Matsumoto and the right handed shake hands grip player Ligia Silva, seen in many quarters as the ideal combination, experienced penultimate round problems.

They were extended the full five games by Chile’s Alejandro Rodriguez and Maria Paulina Vega, having commenced proceedings with a straight games win over the Dominican Republic’s partnership of Juan Vila and Eva Brito, followed by success in four games in opposition the Mexico’s Marcos Madrid and Sarah Rosas to book a quarter-final place.

In the round of the last eight pairs they met Colombia’s Alexander Echavarria and Paula Medina. Once again success came their way and once again it was in four games.

Problems for Seeds
Success for the top seeds but there were problems for the other highly seeded partnerships.

Brazil’s Hugo Hoyama and Jessica Yamada departed in round three.

They were beaten in three straight games by Ecuador’s Alberto Miño and Tania Almendariz, who then suffered a quarter-final four games defeat, at the hands of Venezuela’s Henry Mujica and Fabiola Ramos.

Similar for Brazil
Similarly for Brazilian colleagues Gustavo Tsuboi and Karin Sako there was an earlier than expected exit; they departed at the quarter-final stage losing to Chile’s Alejandro Rodriguez and Maria Paulina Vega.

A quarter-final departure for the no.3 seeds whilst for the no.4 seeds, Chile’s Juan Papic and Berta Rodriguez; they experienced defeat on their first visit to the table.

Venezuela’s Marco Navas and Maria Mata ended their progress in three straight games but their future was short lived; in the very next round they suffered a four games defeat against Juan Restrepo and Johana Araque.

Third Time for Ligia Silva
Nevertheless, there was no stopping Brazil in the guise of Cazuo Matsumoto and Ligia Silva.

It was for Cazuo Matsumoto his second Latin American Mixed Doubles crown having won one year earlier with Ligia Silva; whilst for Ligia Silva it was her third.

She won in 2006 in the Colombian city of Medellin with Thiago Monteiro, in Cancun she maintained her record, as did Cazuo Matsumoto, of once in the final always victorious.

Fifth Time for Brazil
Victory for Cazuo Matsumoto and Ligia Silva in Cancun was the fifth time Brazil had captured the Mixed Doubles crown at a Latin American Championships.

In addition to the three wins involving Ligia Silva, Acassio da Cunha and Mmaria Pupo won in Rio de Janeiro in 1980, whilst in 2000 in the Chilean city of Coquimbo, Hugo Hoyama and Eugenia Ferreira clinched the top prize.

Once Again
In 2010, the Mixed Doubles title was once again in Brazilian hands.

Click here for Full Mixed Doubles Results