by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the final hurdle of the Men’s Team event, Paraguay recorded a three-one win in opposition to Chile.
Impressive, Marcelo Aguirre beat both Gustavo Gomez (11-8, 11-4, 11-6) and Manuel Moya (11-8, 11-7, 11-4) with the one further success for Paraguay being recorded by Alejandro Toranzos. In the second match of the engagement, he overcame Felipe Olivares (4-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-0). The one win for Chile was secured in the doubles, Gustavo Gomez and Manuel Moya accounted for Axel Gavilan and Alejandro Toranzos in four straight games (11-9, 12-10, 11-8).
Gold for Paraguay, silver for Chile; it was bronze for Peru and Ecuador. At the semi-final stage the Peruvian trio formed by Bryan Blas, Rodrigo Hidalgo and Diego Rodriguez experienced a three-one defeat at the hands of Paraguay; for Ecuador’s Adrian Cabrera, Emiliano Riofrio and Alberto Miño, it was a three-nil reverse when confronting of Chile.
No deciding fifth match needed in the Men’s Team final, it was very different in the Women’s Team gold medal contest; the crucial contest being the doubles. Judith Morales and Paulina Vega recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Manuela Echeverry and Luisa Zuluaga (9-11, 13-15, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3), the win coming after Daniela Ortega had lost to Luisa Zuluaga (11-3, 11-7, 11-3) and Paulina Vega had beaten Paulina Medina (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
Chile ahead after the doubles, Paula Medina beat Judith Morales (11-8, 13-11, 13-15, 11-8) to level matters and set the stage for Daniela Ortega and Manuela Echeverry to determine the outcome; the decision went in favour of Daniela Ortega. She prevailed in four games (11-2, 11-13, 11-3, 11-3).
The top two steps of the podium for Chile and Colombia, the third step was secured by Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
In the penultimate round, the Venezuelan trio of Roxy Gonzalez, Neridee Niño and Camila Obando suffered a three-nil defeat at the hands of Chile; for the Dominican Republic outfit comprising Eva Brito, Esmerlyn Castro and Cynthia Sanchez it was a three-one loss to Colombia.
A total of 37 men and 32 women are competing in Santa Marta. The national associations participating are: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.
The Bolivarian Games are held in honour Simon Bolivar who in the early 19th century liberated the countries of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama from Spanish rule. First staged in 1938 in Bogota, Colombia to mark the city’s 400th anniversary, the multi-sport gathering is organised every four years; the current Games, the 18th edition, commenced on Saturday 11th November and will conclude on Saturday 25th November; table tennis is one of no less than 34 sports on the itinerary.
Bolivarian Games: Participating National Associations (Monday 20th November)
Bolivarian Games: List of Players (Monday 20th November)
Bolivarian Games: Results of Team Events (Monday 20th November)
Bolivarian Games: Table Tennis Events
Bolivarian Games: Details of All Events