25 May 2017

Two days of play completed, Portugal and Spain emerged as the countries to capture the first titles to be decided at the 2017 Ibero-American Championships in Madrid on Wednesday 24th May.

Represented by Diogo Pinho, André Silva and Diogo Silva, Portugal secured the Men’s Team title; the counterpart Women’s Team crown was donned by the host nation’s Claudia Caymel and Ana Garcia.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Titles secured but both European countries had to withstand testing time from Latin American adversaries.

A three matches to two verdict was the end result in favour of Portugal in the Men’s Team final against Argentina with André Silva being the mainstay of his country’s success. He beat both Horacio Cifuentes (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6) and Gaston Alto (11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-7), whilst in the third match of the fixture partnering Diogo Silva to doubles success (11-9, 12-10, 12-10).

The two wins for Argentina both came at the expense of Diogo Pinho; he was beaten by Gaston Alto in the second match of the fixture (11-6, 13-11, 13-11) and by Horacio Cifuentes in the fourth (12-10, 7-11, 11-1, 11-4).

Earlier, at the semi-final stage, with André Silva and Diogo Silva on duty, a three-nil win had been posted against the Puerto Rican combination of Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, in the same round Argentina had recorded a three-one win against Spain; the host nation being hampered by the absence of Alejandro Calvo. The one success for the Spaniards was recorded in the second match of the fixture when Guillermo Martinez beat Horacio Cifuences (11-3, 11-8, 11-4).

A hard fought success for Portugal in the Men’s Team final; in the counterpart Women’s Team deciding contest, even though the score-line read three-nil in favour of Spain against Puerto Rico, the engagement was much closer than may appear at first sight.

The first two matches both went the full five games distance. Claudia Caymel beat Daniely Rios (12-10, 11-3, 4-11, 6-11, 11-5), before Ana Garcia overcame Melanie Diaz in an even closer contest (7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9). Matters concluded with Claudia Caymel and Ana Garcia securing the doubles in a rather more convincing manner (11-9, 11-9, 13-11).

Earlier in the day, Claudia Caymel and Ana Garcia had beaten the Argentine duo of Ana Codina and Candela Molero by three matches to one; whilst Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios has recorded a three-nil win over the Dominican Republic pairing of Eva Brito and Esmerlyn Castro, before requiring the full five matches to end the hopes of Chile’s Judith Morales, Katherine Low and Paulina Vega.

Thorn in the side of the Puerto Ricans was Paulina Vega; she accounted for both Daniely Rios (11-3, 11-8, 13-11) and Melanie Diaz (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2).

Team events concluded; the individual events commence. Play concludes on Friday 26th May.

Team Event: 2017 Ibero-American Championships
Photos: Alvaro Diaz

2017 Ibero-American Championships: Full Results – Men’s Team Event (Wednesday 24th May)

2017 Ibero-American Championships: Full Results – Women’s Team Event (Wednesday 24th May)

2017 Ibero-American Championships