09 Oct 2019

Earlier this year they filled the Mario "Quixote" Morales stadium in Guaynabo; from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February they promise to do the same for the 2020 ITTF Pan American Cup.

Such was the message from Ivan Santos, the President of the Puerto Rico Table Tennis Federation in the studios of the local television company Telemundo on Tuesday 1st October, for the prestigious event that is a qualifier for the Men’s World Cup and Women’s World Cup tournaments to be held later in the year.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The same response from the local community is anticipated but there is a change to the formula; the group stage of 12 players, with the top four names receiving a direct entry to the main draw, is disbanded; the knock-out principle for the 16 players, seeding based on the world ranking list current at the time, will be the system.

“Definitely for us it gives great pride to once again be the host for the ITTF Pan American Cup. We have an audience eager to watch table tennis. We had a highly successful Pan American Games and already we have Adriana Diaz qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We are very grateful to the municipality of Guaynabo, the mayor Angel Pérez and his staff; thanks to José Cancela from Telemundo; also to the sponsors who continue to support our efforts to compete at international level.” Ivan Santos

Watched by Melanie Diaz, Ivan Santos displays his skills (Photo: José Hudo Castañer)


Eyes in Guaynabo will very much focus on Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz as well as Brian Afanador, all three so successful at the recent Pan American Games.

“I want you to see the show we’re going to give here in the island. A lot of times, 95 percent of us are playing outside of Puerto Rico. Again we’re going to give Puerto Ricans a chance to enjoy high class table tennis. I urge everyone to come and watch.” Brian Afanador

Watch out Hugo!

In 2019, the women’s title finished in the hands of Adriana Diaz, for Brian Afanador, coached by father Eladio, it was a quarter-final exit when facing Brazil’s Hugo Calderano.

“From me you can expect me to gain revenge against Hugo Calderano. I make a promise to the mayor, Angel Perez, to turn the tables. I am very excited and happy because I’m sure that all Puerto Ricans are going to help me make history.” Brian Afanador

An upbeat and confident, Brian Afanador, it was a similar reaction from Melanie Diaz.

“A full house and the support of all Puerto Rico, I hope a lot of kids are going to see what can be achieved with table tennis.” Melanie Diaz


The tournament will be broadcast by Telemundo following an agreement with José Cancela, the company’s president, who was delighted with the outstanding success of the 2019 edition.

“Last year broke all expectations. I remember the morning we went to the Coliseum and how spectacular it was and how it looked in the broadcast. Thanks to you Brian and Melanie we have a sport that is growing in this hemisphere. For us to be able to do this project again on the way to Tokyo 2020 is of paramount importance. With great pride in Telemundo we show the world what we are capable of.” José Cancela

José Cancela underlines the support of Telemundo as Brian Afanador looks on (Photo: José Hudo Castañer)
Delighted mayor

Positive responses throughout, Angel Perez in particular once again delighted to play host; likewise he is relishing the occasion.

“Guaynabo is the new table tennis home in Puerto Rico. We have our training centre and a table tennis programme in the city’s elementary schools. We are proud of what we have achieved together with the Federation and to host this event for the second year in a row. We are excited about the opportunity to welcome all the athletes to Guaynabo.” Angel Perez

Titles on offer and the ultimate prize to compete against the very best; the 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup is scheduled to be staged in Düsseldorf from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October, the 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October in Bangkok.

Ticket sales

Ticket sales for the 2020 ITTF Pan American Cup are on sale at US$8.00 and US$15.00.

Contact: or telephone (+1) 787 303 0334

2020 Pan America Cup Guaynabo

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