05 Dec 2016

Encouraging the various areas in the small Central American country of El Salvador to play table tennis, the annual Nittaku National Tournament was staged in the capital city of San Salvador on Thursday 1st December.

A major element in the “Dream Building” initiative, it was the fifth consecutive year that the event had been held.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Held in the Federico Aguilar Meardi Hall, thanks to the support from the Instituto Nacional de los Deportes de El Salvador (INDES) the country’s centre for sport, over 70 players participated in the tournament.

Notably competitors travelled from throughout the country with major regions being present in the guise of San Ignacio, Atiquizaya, Guarjila, Santa Ana, Segundo Montes, El Transito, Jucuapa, Nueva Concepción, Perquin, Chalchuapa and Chilanga.

Meanwhile, present to watch play progress was Melecio Rivera, ITTF Executive Vice President and President of the El Salvador Table Tennis Federation, alongside representatives from the INDES organisation. Juan José Gomez, the Administration Director and Ernesto Herrnandez, the man responsible for social programmes, attended as did Juan Salmeron, the Director of Communications, a former Pan American karate champion.

Melecio Rivera (centre) as always the most genial host, with Juan José Gomez (left) and (right) Ernesto Hernandez (Photo: courtesy of Carlos Esnard)

Intense competition but the best spirit of sport was the order of the day with local officials being joined by volunteers present in El Salvador thanks to support of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Perquin represented by Oscar Gutierrez, David Gutierrez and Rene Baires won the Men’s Team title; they beat the Atiquizaya trio of Francisco Guzman, Fernado Jimenez and Miguel Carranza by three matches to one to claim the title.

José Ramirez, winner of the Men’s Singles title (Photo: courtesy of Carlos Esnard)

Success for Perquin, in the Women’s Team competition, it was success for Chilanga. The outfit comprising Gabriela Salamanca, Estefany Vasquez and Heysa Flores overcame Chalchuapa represented by Laura Aviles, Silvia Carolina Ortiz and Daniela Loarca to claim the top prize.

Later in the day, José Ramirez from Santa Ana won the Men’s Singles title beating Jorge Ramirez from Chalchuapa in the final (11-6, 11-9, 11-8), whilst in the Women’s Singles competition, Estefany Vasquez added to her team title.

She beat Susana Carranza from Atiquizaya in the title deciding contest (6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2).

A successful day and just as the El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open is established firmly on the calendar, so is the Nittaku National Tournament.

Estefany Vasquez winner of the Women’s Singles title (Photo: courtesy of Carlos Esnard)

Nittaku National Tournament: Full Results

General News High Performance and Development Melecio Rivera