by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Brazil’s Eric Jouti, the top seed, remained unbeaten but he came mightily close to defeat; against Guyana’s Shemar Britton, he had to recover from a two games to nil deficit and the brink of defeat in the third game to ensure victory (5-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-5).
Meanwhile, for the next in line in a competition where first and second position in each group meant progress to the main draw; there were defeats for Chile’s Felipe Olivares and Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre.
Felipe Olivares lost to Peru’s Rodrigo Hidalgo in five games (7-11, 2-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9) but then recovered immediately to beat Colombia’s Joaquin Villegas in four games (11-11-13, 11-8, 11-9). Later in the concluding match in the group Joaquin Villegas, by the same margin as which he had experienced defeat, overcame Rodrigo Hidalgo (11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7).
Thus games ratio decided; Felipe Olivares (5:4) secured first position ahead of Joaquin Villegas (4:4) with Rodrigo Hidalgo (4:5) third on the list.
Likewise, but in different order, Marcelo Aguirre opened his account with a four games win in opposition to Peru’s Diego Rodriguez (3-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6), before losing by a similar margin to Ecuador’s Emiliano Riofrio (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9). Matters looked promising for the young man from Guayaquil but the delight was short-lived; in the concluding group stage contest, he was beaten in straight games by Diego Rodriguez (12-10, 11-4, 11-1)
Games ratio decided; first place for Diego Rodriguez (4:3), Marcelo Aguirre the runner up (4:4), Emiliano Riofrio (3:4) third and eliminated.
Second place for Marcelo Aguirre, it was the same for Chile’s Gustavo Gomez, the no.4 seed and Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.5 seed. Both lost just one match, experiencing defeat against an adversary who remained unbeaten to top the group.
Gustavo Gomez lost to Pablo Tabachnik, like Horacio Cifuentes from Argentina (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5); Horacio Cifuentes suffered at the hands of Venezuela’s Marco Navas (10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).
Surprise defeats in the Men’s Singles event, it was very similar the previous day in the Men’s Doubles competition as play progressed to the final.
At the semi-final stage Marcelo Aguirre in harness with Paraguayan colleague Axel Gavilan, the no.4 seeds, beat Vitor Ishiy and Eric Jouti, the top seeds (11-8, 5-11, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5); in the opposite half of the draw, Horacio Cifuentes partnering Argentine colleague, Gaston Alto, the no.3 seeds, ended the hopes of Gustavo Gomez and Chilean colleague Juan Lamadrid, the no.2 seeds (11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8).
The Men’s Doubles final will be played later in the day; the Men’s Singles title decider on the concluding day of action Thursday 7th June.