05 Aug 2019

Medals at stake, the colour to be decided, the leading pairs in the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events all reserved podium places following success on the opening day of play, Sunday 4th August, at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

Authority was asserted; those who have impressed this year at open international tournaments made their presence felt.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In fact it was only in the men’s doubles where there was a surprise penultimate round name; the pair to attract the attention being that of the Dominican Republic’s Emil Santos and Wu Jiaji, the latter notably a former world champion.

Representing China, Wu Jiaji was member of the outfit that won the boys’ team title at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Bratislava, later he joined forces with Gu Yuting to secure mixed doubles gold. A right handed pen-holder, he is very much the ideal doubles partner.

The no.11 seeds, after accounting for Chile’s Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid, the no.6 seeds (11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-2), the pair booked their semi-final place courtesy of success in opposition to Canada’s Jeremy Hazin and Eugene Wang (12-14, 2-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8). Similarly, the appearance of the Canadians in the penultimate round was unexpected; the no.9 seeds, in the opening round they had beaten Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre and Alejandro Toranzos, the no.4 seeds (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8).

At the semi-final stage Emil Santos and Wu Jiaji meet Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Horacio Cifuentes, the no.2 seeds; in the opposite half of the draw, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi, the top seeds, confront Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez, the no.3 seeds.

Meanwhile, in both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events, the top four seeded pairs all progressed safely to the semi-final round. In the former Wu Yue and Lily Zhang of the United States, the top seeds, meet Canada’s Alicia Cote and Zhang Mo, the no.3 seeds; in the opposite half of the draw Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz, the no.2 seeds, face Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada.

Brazil versus Puerto Rico in both the men’s doubles and women’s doubles semi-finals; it is the same in the mixed doubles. Gustavo Tsuboi and Bruna Takahashi, the no.3 seeds, play against Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz, the no.2 seeds; in the adjacent half of the draw, Kanak Jha and United States colleague, Wu Yue, the no.1 seeds, confront Eugene Wang and Zhang Mo, the no.4 seeds.

The mixed doubles semi-finals and finals, alongside the men’s doubles and women’s doubles semi-finals, will be played on Monday 5th August; the finals of the men’s doubles and women’s doubles will be held on Tuesday 6th August.

2019 Pan American Games: Quotes of the day – Sunday 4th August

Interviews by Paloma Mutti

2019 Pan American Games Dominican Republic

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Day 5 - 2019 Pan American Games