30 Jan 2019

The winner some six months ago in the Paraguayan capital city of Asuncion, Hugo Calderano defends his title at the forthcoming Universal 2019 Pan America Cup; the three day tournament commencing in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on Friday 1st January.

He is the top seed ahead, listed at no.6 on the current men’s world rankings; he starts the clear favourite for gold.

by Ian Marshall, Editor
The successes achieved by Hugo Calderano on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour were quite remarkable; stunning, they exceeded all expectations. The young man from Rio de Janeiro, a city more usually associated in the sporting world with football and volleyball proved himself the equal of the best in the world.

Most notably in Doha, he reached the men’s singles final leaving in his wake Germany’s Timo Boll, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and China’s Lin Gaoyuan before losing to the latter’s compatriot, Fan Zhendong. Success for Fan Zhendong meant the Chinese star ascended to the top spot on the world rankings, a position he holds to this day.

Later in the year in December at the Seamsaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, when Hugo Calderano met Fan Zhendong at the quarter-final stage of the men’s singles event, he recorded a sensational win. Simply, he beat the current best player in the world.

However, during the year there was a blemish; in Guaynabo, Hugo Calderano makes the first step to set the record straight.

In October at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF Men’s World Cup in Paris, he was the highest rated player in the first stage of proceedings; he was beaten by Frenchman, Emmanuel Lebesson and by Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus. The outcome was elimination, no place in the main draw.

The two players who during their careers had been crowned European champions progressed, it was a tough group and no disgrace losing to either, nowhere near the disaster experienced by his footballing compatriots at the 2014 Football World Cup when Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany, but did we not expect Hugo Calderano to gain a main draw place? He finished outside the top 16 names.

At Universal 2019 Pan America Cup, the finalists qualify for the Liebherr 2019 Men’s World Cup to be staged later in the year in October in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

Guaynabo is the first step to set the record straight.

2019 Pan Am Cup Hugo Calderano

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Photo Gallery

Day 3 - Universal 2019 ITTF-Pan American Cup