23 Nov 2018

Seventh place earlier in the proceedings in the Women’s Team event at the Sparta 2018 ITTF Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile; for the Dominican Republic, it was a higher finish than anticipated; they commenced play as the no.10 seeds.

A satisfactory performance but not one to hit the headlines; one day later as the Women’s Singles competition commenced on Friday 23rd November, one member of their team rose above all others, Esmerlyn Castro stood tall.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The 17 year old not only emerged the youngest player to book a third round place, she also emerged the one surprise name.

Listed in the no.32 seeded position, after recovering from a two games to nil deficit to beat Ecuador’s Astrid Salazar, the no.38 seed, in seven games (6-11, 9-11, 12-10, 15-13, 14-12, 8-11, 11-1); she did very much the same in the next round. Only this time, she recovered to win in six games, more pertinently, she caused a major upset. She beat Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara, the no.12 seed (3-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

Impressive from Esmerlyn Castro, born in 2001 and it is not the first time the teenager has impressed on the international scene. In 2017, she won the Under 18 Girls’ Singles title at the Caribbean Junior and Cadet Championships in the Cuban capital city of Havana, as well as securing the top step of the podium in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the Caribbean Championships in Georgetown, Guyana.

Success for Esmerlyn Castro; alas for her colleagues it was defeat. Eva Brito, the no.18 seed, after accounting for Canada’s Ivy Liao, the no.37 seed (11-13, 3-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6, 12-10), experienced defeat at the hands of Brazil’s Gui Lin, the no.8 seed (11-9, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8).

Similarly, Yasiris Ortiz, winner of the Women’s Singles title in early October at the Caribbean Championships in Kingston and the no.24 seed in Santiago, departed in round two. A first round success in opposition to Colombia’s Manuela Echeverry, the no.36 seed (11-5, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7), on the next visit to the table Wang Xinyue of the United States, the no.14 seed, ended progress (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9).

The third round and quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be held on Saturday 24th November.

2018 Pan American Championships Esmerlyn Castro

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Day 6 - 2018 Pan America Championships