by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In San José, on Sunday 30th July, Gustavo Tsuboi had beaten colleague, Eric Jouti in the Men’s Singles final, the result following defeat for Zhang Mo by Lily Zhang of the United States.
Conversely in Asuncion, Gustavo Tsuboi had to settle for runners up spot, for Zhang Mo it was the top step of the podium.
At the final hurdle, Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.2 seed, was beaten by compatriot, Hugo Calderano, (11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 15-13), the success coming after Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.3 seed, had secured third place by beating the host nation’s Marcelo Aguirre, the no.4 seed (11-6, 15-13, 12-10, 5-11, 9-11, 11-6).
“I feel sad, disappointed, I thought I could have done much better. The three first games I had some problems concentrating, Kanak is a good player.” Marcel Aguirre
“I’m feeling really happy to have won this match; it was difficult to play when the spectators supported Aguirre but it was a good atmosphere. I was disappointed yesterday when I lost to Gustavo Tsuboi but now I feel Little better after winning this match.” Kanak Jha
A six games success for Hugo Calderano, in the Women’s Singles final for Zhang Mo against Wu Yue of the United States, the no.2 seed, it was one game less; she recovered from an opening game deficit to secure victory (8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 13-11).
Hard earned success, it was the same in the bronze medal match; Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the no.4 seed, accounted for Mexico’s Yadira Silva, the no.10 seed, in five games (17-15, 11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-9), a contest which reversed the fortunes of their previous meeting on international soil. At the Latin American 2016 Olympic Games continental qualification tournament, staged in Santiago, Yadira Silva had emerged successful.
“I am really happy to have been able to reach the semi-finals and even more happy to win the bronze medal. I always try to play with same enthusiasm, it does not matter what the circumstances. I always try to achieve the best result. The last time I lost with Yadira but today I felt confident. I know that she is a player with much experience but I entered the match with a strong mind.” Bruna Takahashi.
Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi qualify for the Liebherr 2018 Men’s World Cup to be staged in Paris later this year from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st October in Paris; Zhang Mo and Wu Yue reserve places in the Uncle Pop 2018 Women’s World Cup to be held the previous month from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September in Chengdu.
The Men’s Singles podium (left to right) Gustavo Tsuboi, Hugo Calderano and Kanak Jha (Photo: courtesy of Paloma Mutti)