by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Eric Jouti set the victory roll in progress, in the opening match of the fixture he beat Gustavo Gomez (9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8), prior to Vitor Ishiy accounting for Felipe Olivares by the very narrowest of five game margins (11-13, 11-9, 15-17, 11-6, 12-10). The momentum inexorably in Brazil’s favour, Eric Jouti and Thiago Monteiro completed matters by securing the doubles in opposition to Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid (13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6).
Success for Brazil, the success came after a dramatic finish to the group phase of proceedings and also to the semi-final round; teams finishing in first and second position progressing to the main draw.
Represented by Cecilio Correa, Marco Navas and Luis Vanegas, after having recorded a three-two win over Brazil, the Venezuelan trio, the no.8 seeds, experienced a three-one defeat at the hands of the no.6 seeds Peru’s Bryan Blas, Rodrigo Hidalgo and Diego Rodriguez; a team the Brazilians had earlier beaten by three matches to nil.
Thus match ratio determined the group; it was first place for Brazil (5:3) followed by Venezuela (4:5) and Peru (3:4).
First place by narrow margins, it was the same in the penultimate round but in a different fashion for the Brazilians when facing the no.3 seeds, the Argentine trio comprising Gaston Alto, Horacio Cifuentes and Pablo Tabachnik.
A three-two win was the outcome with Vitor Ishiy the backbone of the victory; he beat Horacio Cifuentes in the opening match of the engagement (7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9), before in the vital fifth match of the fixture keeping his nerve to overcome Pablo Tabachnik by the very minimal two point margin (6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 12-10) to secure the place in the final. The one further win for the Brazilians was secured by Thiago Monteiro, in the second match of the fixture, he beat Gaston Alto, also in a full distance duel (12-10, 10-12, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, life had been very different for Chile; they reached the final without surrendering a single individual game. First position in the group secured, a direct entry to the penultimate round, they recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the no.4 seeds, Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre, Axel Gavilan and Alejandro Toranzos.
Play in the Men’s Team event concluded, the focus now turns towards the individual competition; matters conclude on Thursday 7th June.