by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Represented by Wu Yue, Crystal Wang and Grace Yang, the United States, the top seeds, beat the Dominican Republic combination of Esmerlyn Castro, Eva Brito and Yasiris Ortiz by three matches to nil, before with Rachel Yang replacing Grace Yang, a similar result was recorded against the Argentine trio of Camila Arguelles, Ana Codina and Agustina Iwasa.
The United States having completed their fixtures is assured of first place; second place depends on the contest between Argentina and the Dominican Republic.
Likewise, Brazil, the no.2 seeds, with Bruna Takahashi, Gui Lin and Bruna Alexander on duty, beat El Salvador’s Emme Arias, Estefania Ramirios and Wang de Ying by three matches to nil, before receiving a walk-over against Cuba. Lisi Castillo had arrived in Cartagena de Indias but both Idalys Lovet and Lizdainet Rodriguez had been unable to travel owing to Hurricane Irma. It is hoped they will arrive on the second day of play.
In their second fixture of the day, El Salvador with the same three players on duty overcame the Costa Rica outfit of Nicole Granados, Angie Araya and Fiorella Vallecillo by three matches to nil. One fixture technically remains for each team but in realistic terms Brazil and El Salvador have the respective top two places reserved.
Similarly in the one remaining group, there was no stopping the Puerto Rican trio of Adriana Diaz, Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios, the no.3 seeds. They beat Peru’s Angela Mori, Janina Nieto and Kelly Santur by three matches to nil, before posting the same margin of victory in opposition to Chile’s Paulina Vega, Judith Morales and Daniela Ortega.
“I think the Pan-American Championships presents a good opportunity because we have more chances to play with new countries like Canada and the United States, I think it’s a great for the Latinos.” Janina Nieto
Two wins for Puerto Rico; it was exactly the same for Mexico. Represented throughout by Yadira Silva, Dulce Machinena and Alejandra Cervantes, they beat Chile by three matches to two, prior to recording a three-one win in opposition to Peru. Both Chile and Peru selected the same players who faced Puerto Rico.
Mainstay of the Mexican success was Yadira Silva. Against Chile, she beat Daniela Ortega (11-7, 11-4, 11-2) and Paulina Vega (11-4, 11-7, 11-6); in opposition to Peru she accounted for Angela Mori (8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6) and Janina Nieto (11-7, 11-7, 11-8).
The results mean that Puerto Rico and Mexico are assured of quarter-final places; on the second day of play, they meet to determine first position.