by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Star of the show was Jabdiel Torres, he remained unbeaten throughout as the duo progressed to the final and ultimately the top step of the medal podium.
At the quarter-final stage a three-one win was recorded against the Sweden ‘A’ Team pairing of Linus Keraenen and Teodor Siljehom, before victory by three matches to nil was posted when facing the Guatemala ‘B’ Team outfit formed by Sergio Carrillo and Jorge Chacon.
A place in the final booked, the Costa Rica ‘A’ Team pairing of Ricardo Azofeifa and Alfredo Sanchez awaited; a three-one success for the Caribbean island was the margin of victory.
Jabdiel Torres beat Ricardo Azofeifa in a full distance five games duel (6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6), before Alfredo Sanchez accounted for Angel Naranjo to level matters (11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6). Matters in the balance, the Puerto Ricans secured the doubles (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6), before the in-form Jabdiel Torres returned to the fray to end matters by overcoming Alfredo Sanchez in three straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-5).
Defeat in the final for Costa Rica but for the small Central American country it was a watershed moment; to reach the final of an ITTF World Junior Circuit event is a major achievement. A new purpose built national training centre on the horizon, the silver medal in San Salvador could well prove a springboard for success.
In the opening round Ricardo Azofeifa and Alfredo Sanchez beat the Sweden ‘B’ Team duo of Tom Holmqvist and Love Iwarsson by three matches to nil, before recording a three-one quarter-final success in opposition to the Puerto Rico ‘A’ Team pairing of Gustavo Cruz and Daniel Hernandez.
A place in the penultimate round secured, the Costa Rican duo reserved their final berth courtesy of success against the El Salvador ‘A’ partnership of Enzo Leiva and Mateo Martinez.
Stand tall Ricardo Azofeifa and Alfredo Sanchez.