by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara, the top seed, had beaten Argentina’s Ana Codina, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7), Paulina Vega suffered excruciating pain. The no.3 seed, she was beaten by the very narrowest of possible margins by Colombia’s Paula Medina, the no.2 seed (11-8, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9).
Defeat and it was a repeat of the most recent results against the Colombian.
At the 2010 Pan American Games, Paulina Vega had emerged successful; similarly she had prevailed at the South American Championships in both 2013 and 2015 but pertinently, she had lost when the pair met last year at the South American Championships on Paula Medina’s home soil in Antioquia.
She was beaten by Paula Medina in both the group stage and quarter-final round of the Women’s Singles event.
Success by narrow margins for Paula Medina; for Caroline Kumahara, life was more convincing and certainly more convincing than the most recent contest in opposition to Ana Codina in the international arena.
They met in the second round of the Women’s Singles event at the 2014 Latin American Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. On that occasion the Brazilian had needed the full seven games to ensure victory (7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-3).
“I feel I played well today, I felt comfortable throughout the whole match. I was strong after the first attack; this is important against Ana as she is good with the first attack; also, I felt that I received service well”, Caroline Kumahara
Notably the win recorded by Caroline Kumahara means that she maintains her perfect record against Ana Codina on the international scene. Prior to the engagement in Santo Domingo, Caroline Kumahara had beaten Ana Codina at the 2009 Argentina Junior and Cadet Open and in the Women’s Team competition at the 2013 ITTF-Latin American Championships in El Salvador.