by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the immediately ensuing 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament; she experienced just one defeat. She was beaten by Brazil’s Camila Kaizoji at the quarter-final stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles competition (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10).
Otherwise it was success after success; her efforts ending on a high note; after two days earlier remaining unbeaten to secure the Cadet Girls’ Team title in partnership with colleague Macarena Montecino, on the concluding day, Sunday 25th March, she won the Cadet Girls’ Singles title.
Impressively, at the semi-final stage she accounted for Brazil’s Beatrix Kimoto (11-6, 11-5, 11-4), the player who later in the day was to be crowned Junior Girls’ Singles champion, prior to clinching the title against the player she was destined to meet.
In the final she accounted for Giulia Takahashi, like Beatrix Kimoto from Brazil; the two players meeting for no less than sixth time in the nine day period in Asuncion.
Similar to the previous five meetings, it was success for Valentina Rios; she prevailed in four games (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8). In the counterpart semi-final, Guilia Takahashi had beaten Canada’s Isabelle Xiong, the top seed (11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3).
Runners up spot for Brazil in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event; in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Singles competition it was gold with Argentina being the country to suffer at the hands of the 13 year old.
Kenzo Carmo, after overcoming Argentina’s Luciano Alto in the penultimate round (11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5) accounted for Matias Guadalupe (11-8, 12-10, 11-7) to secure the top step of the podium. In the counterpart semi-final, Matias Guadalupe had beaten Chile’s Benjamin Pavez (11-3, 11-7, 11-5).
Gold for Brazil, on the concluding day of play there was more gold in the younger age group events; also there was success for Paraguay.
Shim Joon flew the flag for Brazil by winning the Mini Cadet Boys’ Singles title, whilst in the Mini Cadet Girls’ Singles event, the host nation’s Cristina Mencia stood tall.
At the final hurdle Shim Joon beat Sweden’s Tom Holmqvist (11-7, 11-4, 11-5); Cristina Mencia overcame compatriot Lourdes Saavedra (11-4, 11-5, 11-4).