by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Coached throughout by her father, Hernan Rios; she secured the title by overcoming Argentina’s Candela Molero, in four games (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8) to earn a belated birthday present.
She celebrated her 15th birthday just two weeks ago on Saturday 15th April.
“It is with great pride I represent my country and complete this achievement; I hope to repeat this success in the years that I have left to play this category, I want to dedicate this win to all those who support me, especially my family.” Valentina Rios.
Defeat for Argentina at Chilean hands; in the corresponding Under 21 Men’s Singles event it was the reverse scenario.
Horacio Cifuentes after overcoming Brazil’s Rafael Torino at the semi-final stage (11-9, 11-3, 11-6), secured the title at the final expense of Juan Lamadrid (13-11, 11-8, 11-8). Earlier Juan Lamadrid had received a walk-over against Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi who at the end of the opening game was forced to retire owing to injury.
Notably it is the first time that a player from Argentina or from Chile has won an Under 21 title at either an ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour tournament; in Santiago history was written.