21 Nov 2018

First position in the group, a place in the quarter-finals assured; such was the outcome for the top four seeds in the Women’s Team event at the Sparta 2018 ITTF Pan American Championships on Tuesday 20th November, in Santiago.

However, for the host nation’s trio comprising Judith Morales, Daniela Ortega and Paulina Vega, the no.3 seeds, it was not without some moments of trepidation.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

They needed the full five matches to overcome, Colombia the no.5 seeds; the player to causes the problems being Paula Medina.

In the second match of the fixture, José Luis Urrutia, the coach sitting courtside, she beat Daniela Ortega (11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9), before in the fourth, accounting for Judith Morales, in a five games contest determined by the minimal two point margin (9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10). However, those were to be the only successes for the Colombian outfit; Daniela Ortega emerging the toast of the nation, in the vital fifth and decisive match of the contest, she beat Maria Perdomo (10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2).

“I’m very happy. I started a little tense the match but I managed to get ahead and gain confidence; we have reached the quarter-finals.” Daniela Ortega

The two remaining Chilean wins came courtesy of Paulina Vega; just as earlier in the day, she had remained unbeaten against Canada, she ended the day as the only member of her team with an unblemished record.

“I am very happy that on home soil we have qualified for the quarter-finals.” Paulina Vega

In the opening match of the contest, she partnered Judith Morales to doubles success against Maria Perdomo and Cory Tellez (11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7), before in the third contest of the engagement accounting for Cory Tellez (11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7).

“The match against Colombia was tough, we won three-two and showed a very good team spirit. Before we started the one thing we talked about was gaining first place in the group; that has been achieved.” , José Luis Urrutia

A hard fought win for Chile; for the top two seeded teams, life was less fraught. Brazil, the top seeds, with Gui Lin, Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada in action, recorded a three-one success against Cuba’s Lisi Castillo, Daniela Fonseca Carrazno and Idalys Lovet, the no.8 seeds; the one win for Cuba being secured by Daniela Fonseca Carrazno. In the third match of the fixture, she overcame Gui Lin (11-8, 11-6, 11-9).

Arguably, in an even more imposing manner, selecting Angela Guan, Wu Yue and Lily Zhang, the United States recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the no.7 seeds, Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, Mabelyn Enriquez and Andrea Montufar.

Success by three matches to nil to conclude their group stage fixtures; represented by Adriana Diaz, Melanie Diaz and Daniel Rios, it was the same margin of victory for Puerto Rico, the no.4 seeds, in opposition to Argentina’s Camila Arguelles, Ana Codina and Agustina Iwasa.

“We played Argentina, it was a very close match but we won and we have finished first in the group.” Adriana Diaz

All four leading teams safely through to the quarter-finals; the question posed is to who will join them. In the contests to decide second position in each group and thus progress to the last eight, Cuba meets Mexico, Guatemala opposes the Dominican Republic. Likewise Colombia confronts Canada, Argentina faces Ecuador.

The fixtures will be conducted on the morning of Wednesday 21st November.

2018 Pan American Championships Paulina Vega Daniela Ortega Judith Morales

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Day 6 - 2018 Pan America Championships