by Ian Marshall, Editor
Now 50 years old, born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo in 1969, a first Pan American Games appearance in 1987 in Indianapolis, Hugo Hoyama won a total of 15 medals, 10 gold, one silver and four bronze, in six consecutive appearances culminating in 2011 in Guadalajara.
In fact he surpassed the celebrated swimmer, Gustavo Borges as the most successful Brazilian athlete in the history of the Pan American Games; notably in 2007, when Rio de Janeiro staged the event, Hugo Hoyama was the Brazilian flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
During those years, Hugo Hoyama witnessed many changes, not only within the sport of table tennis, also in the Pan American Games; this year is no different, there is a major change.
Table tennis first appeared in the Games in the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan, a drive and three iron from my apartment for Juan Chi Chi Rodriguez in his prime; on that occasion all seven events were staged – men’s team, women’s team, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles. The situation continued until 1995 in Mar del Plata but from 1999 in Winnipeg until four years ago in Toronto only four events were staged.
The norm was men’s team, women’s team, men’s singles and women’s singles, the exception being 2003 in Santo Domingo; on that occasion men’s doubles and women’s doubles replaced men’s team and women’s team.
In that year, the men’s doubles title, the most recent occasion when the event was held, was won by Hugo Hoyama and Thiago Monteiro; now in 2019 can the Hugo dynasty continue? Can Hugo retain the title; this time in the guise of Calderano partnering Gustavo Tsuboi.