Arthur Requejo and Gabriela Kock, the Mixed Doubles silver medallists in Macau
Portugalís Ricardo Oliveira and Brazilís Mariany Nonaka emerged as the Menís and Womenís Singles champions respectively at the Lusofonia Games (a multi-sport event for Portuguese speaking countries) in Macau on Wednesday 11th October 2006.
Meanwhile, Portugalís Vitaly Efimov and Dio Pinho won the Menís Doubles whilst Brazilís LŪgia Silva captured gold in the Womenís Doubles with Mariany Nonaka and in the Mixed Doubles with Ricardo Kojima.
Strength to Strength
Toughest contest en route to the title for Ricardo Oliveira came in the qualification group stage where he lost to Brazilís Ricardo Kojima; Oliveira finished the group in second place, qualified for the main draw and then went from strength to strength.
In the quarters he beat top seed, Leong Kin-Wa of Macau before overcoming Portuguese colleagues Ivo Silva and Andrť da Silva in the semis and final respectively. As for Brazilís Ricardo Kojima, he defeated Macauís Cheong Chu-Yun in the quarter-finals before losing at the penultimate stage to Andrť da Silva.
Titles for Brazil
Success for Portugal but in the Womenís Singles and also in both the Womenís Doubles and Mixed Doubles events, it was Brazil who stood on the top step of the medal podium.
Mariany Nonaka captured the Womenís Singles title beating Macauís Tam Sut Fei in the quarters and number one seed, Brazilian colleague, LŪgia Silva, in the semis. The adversary in the final was another Brazilian, Karin Sako, who had beaten Portugalís Leila Oliviera in the semis in five games but found Nonaka in top form when the gold medal was at stake, Nonaka won in five games.
Further Titles for Mariany Nonaka
A title for Mariany Nonaka in the Womenís Singles event and also in the Womenís Doubles where she partnered Ligia Silva to victory; seeded one, the pair beat Macauís Tam Sut Fei and Wong Iok Sim in the semis before overcoming second seeds and compatriots, Karin Sako and Jessica Yamada in the final.
The latter pair had also overcome Macau opposition en route to the final, at the penultimate stage they beat Chan Lai-Ha and Cheong Cheng-I.
Meanwhile, in Mixed Doubles victory came the way of Ricardo Kojima and LŪgia Silva who beat Macauís Leong Kon-Wa and Mao Chao-In in the semis and followed with a final success over fellow Brazilians, Arthur Requejo and Gabriela Kock.
The latter duo overcame Portugalís Andrť da Silva and Leila Olivares at the penultimate stage.
Ricardo Kojima and Ligia Silva dominated matters in the Mixed Doubles final from start to finish but in the Menís Doubles final it was a totally different story; it proved to be the closest final of all and the greatest recovery.
At the semi-final stage Portugalís Ricardo Oliveira and Diogo da Silva beat Macauís Leong Kin-Wa and Vong Hon-Weng to book a final contest against compatriots Vitaly Efimov and Dio Pinho who, at the same juncture, had defeated Macauís Chan Kin-Meng and Iam Tong-Hu.
Matters appeared to be going the way of Ricardo Oliveira and Diogo da Silva who had beaten top seeds Eric Mancini and Ricardo Kojima of Brazil in the quarters. They led by three games to one and 11-10 in the fifth game before Vitaly Efimov and Dio Pinho won three points in a row followed by the sixth and seventh games to secure a dramatic victory.
A dramatic final and for Portugal a second title, with Brazil they had shared the spoils.
The crucial moment in the Menís Doubles final, match point for Ricardo Oliveira and Diogo da Silva; Vitaly Efimov and Dio Pinho won the point to level, then they won the next two, they reduced the arrears to one game and went on to secure victory .
Photo by Carlos Leůn