by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the past, the Latin America Cup and the North America Cup have been staged as totally separate events; the winners of the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles event at each tournament qualifying for the relevant World Cup event.
The situation still applies in that each continent is eligible to be represented in both the Men’s World Cup and the Women’s World Cup.
“Regulation 2.2: The winner of each Continental Cup, plus the second and third highest finishers from Asia and Europe and the highest finisher from the Continent other than the one of the winner from the Panam Cup shall qualify, for a total of ten players.”
Thus should a player from North America win the Men’s Singles event in San José, the highest placed player from Latin America will also gain a place. The same applies if vice versa and in the Women’s Singles event.
It was a matter of discussion amongst delegates at the meeting on Thursday 27th July; however, for Alexander Zamora, the President of the Costa Rica Table Tennis Federation, as well as for Jorge Herrera and Tony Kiesenhofer, the respective representatives present from Latin America and North America, the focus was that an exciting new tournament awaits.
“Welcome to Costa Rica for the first edition of the Pan American Cup, we are all excited at the prospect of this new tournament. We had hoped that our new stadium would be ready in time but unfortunately that has not been the situation. However, we are ready, in the last three months we have all worked hard and we are pleased to see so many countries here in San José. I thank the International Table Tennis Federation for their support.” Alexander Zamora
“A great deal of work has taken place to make this tournament possible; my thanks to Tony Kiesenhofer for his help and co-operation. The tournament is very much a first step; here we have an opportunity to analyse and progress to make matters better in the future.” Jorge Herrera
“I can only endorse the words of my colleagues; this tournament is a legacy of the 2015 Pan American Games in Markham. It was there that we discussed the possibilities of the Pan American Cup; now our efforts have been realised.” Tony Kiesenhofer
Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi followed by Mexico’s Marcos Madrid, Eric Jouti also from Brazil and Ecuador’s Alberto Miño are the top four seeds in the Men’s Singles event.
In the counterpart Women’s Singles competition, Canada’s Zhang Mo is the leading name followed by Lily Zhang of the United States. The Brazil duo of Gui Lin and Caroline Kumahara complete the elite names.