by Ian Marshall, Editor
Competing a group organized event, Aleksy Kaniuka experienced few problems; he accounted for Canada’s Gabriel Segun (11-7, 11-5, 11-2), before overcoming colleagues Angel Murdoch (11-7, 11-6, 11-1) and Emanuel Martinez to secure the title (12-10, 11-9, 11-7).
“I train very hard day after day to live up to the expectations. I went out to show how I could play in order to become the champion. I played consistently today with few unforced errors; always trying to put the ball on the table; this tournament is a great boost for me and it also gives me some good world ranking points. Now it’s time to think about the senior event, where I aim to keep collecting world ranking points. I will have to keep thinking on putting the ball onto the table and avoid making mistakes. I have high hopes.” Aleksey Kaniuka
Gabriel Segun duly finished in second place ahead of Emanuel Martinez and Angel Murdoch.
A fine performance from Aleksey Kaniuka, it was the same from Hayuma Abe. He remained unbeaten to secure first place in his group ahead of Puerto Rico’s Kevin Rivera, Canada’s Curtis Caron and Argentina’s Marcos Muñoz to book his place in the semi-final. Top spot but there were some tense moments; notably he was extended the full five games distance by Kevin Rivera (11-1, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4)
“I had to cool down, regain control of myself and recover the rhythm I had at the beginning of the match. I knew I would win if I could do that.” Hayuma Abe
Good form in the initial phase, the good form continued, he overcame Puerto Rico’s Shaquille Rivera (13-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-3) prior to ending the hopes of colleague Takumi Tsujimura (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8) to secure the top prize.
“I came here for a gold medal; I play every match to win. I was a little nervous here at first but as the tournament went on I was able to find my usual rhythm. I think I did it really well; I had to face very demanding opponents. I like it a lot here; people are kind to me, that makes it a real pleasure to play here.” Hayuma Abe
Defeat for Shaquille Rivera but having beaten Takumi Tsujimura in the group phase (8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9), the Puerto Rican was not too disappointed.
“It’s been a very positive day one for me. Of course I had some trouble because I knew in advance I was placed in a tough group but I made it through. There is good organization and some brand new tables; I’m happy playing here. I played against Takumi Tsujimura in Barcelona last year so I was confident ahead of the match but I was also aware of the challenge he was going to present; he was the favourite. I have the best memories of Argentina because here I took the gold medal at 2013 Para Panam Games. Despite having lost the semi-final today I hope to repeat the feat on the senior competition. You always prepare to reach the top. It’s what we work for every day.” Shaquille Rivera
Play now continues with the individual events in the main competition.
2018 Copa Tango Para Open: Latest Results and Main Event Draws