20 Jul 2018

Four years ago in Xalapa, with Natalia Bedoya, Lady Ruano and Angie Umbacia in support, Paula Medina was crucial to Colombia’s silver medal success in the Women’s Team event; four years later on Thursday 19th June, at the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games with a major selection change, once again the 29 year old was her team’s pivotal player.

On home soil in Barranquilla, lining up alongside Manuela Echeverry and Lisa Zuluaga, she remained unbeaten, guiding her colleagues to success against Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Against Mexico she beat both Monica Muñoz (11-2, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8) and Marbella Aceves (11-5, 11-3, 11-6) in a three-two success; the one further win for the Colombians being secured in the doubles when Manuela Echeverry and Luisa Zuluaga combined to overcome Marbella Aceves and Monica Muñoz (11-8, 13-11, 11-9).

The wins for Mexico were both secured by Yadira Silva, the winner four years of the Women’s Singles event; she beat both Manuela Echeverry (11-7, 11-9, 12-10) and Luisa Zuluaga (11-7, 11-6, 11-9).

Pivotal to opening fixture success; it was the same in the next encounter on the agenda when facing the Dominican Republic. Paula Medina accounted for both Yasiris Ortiz (11-4, 12-10, 11-3) and Esmerlyn Castro (11-8, 11-2, 11-5) in a three-one victory; the one further Colombian win, as against Mexico, came in the doubles when Manuela Echeverry and Luisa Zuluaga overcame Esmerlyn Castro and Yasiris Ortiz (11-8, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4).

One more fixture remains in the group, the Dominican Republic and Mexico meet, Colombia confronts Trinidad and Tobago who select from Rheann Chung, Brittany Joseph, Linda Partap and Catherine Spicer. On the opening day they experienced a three-one defeat at the hands of the Dominican Republic, followed by a three-two reverse when facing Mexico.

Testing times for Colombia, the no.2 seeds, less so for Puerto Rico, the top seeds and for Cuba, the no.3 seeds; notably neither outfit surrendered an individual match on the opening day of action.

Selecting throughout Adriana Diaz, Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios; Puerto Rico accounted for Venezuela’s Gremlis Arvelo, Neridee Niño and Camila Obando, before concluding the day, and also their initial phase fixtures, with success in opposition to Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, Mabelyn Enriquez and Andrea Estrada. Guatemala and Venezuela now meet to determine second position in the group.

Impressive from Puerto Rico, it was the same from Cuba. Represented by Lisi Castillo, Idalys Lovet and Shelly Machado Fernandez, a convincing three-nil was recorded against Guyana’s Natalie Cummings, Chelsea Edghill and Trenace Lowe, before with Lizdainet Rodriguez replacing Shelly Machado Fernandez, the same margin of success was secured in opposition to the El Salvador trio comprising Emme Arias, Monica Mendoza and Estefania Ramirios.

In the concluding fixture in the group, Cuba meets Barbados who select from Jazel Griffith, Kenady King, Janae Lewis and Daniele Walton. On the opening day of action Barbados experienced three-nil defeats at the hands of both Cuba and El Salvador.

Teams finishing in first and second places in each of the three groups, advance to the main draw; the quarter and semi-finals will be played on Friday 20th July, the finals on Saturday 21st July.

2018 Central American & Caribbean Games Paula Medina

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