by Ian Marshall, Editor
Moreover, two names that appear on the entry list, have already booked their places in the Japanese metropolis following their success in early August at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Hugo Calderano, the winner of the men’s singles event is Tokyo bound, as is Adriana Diaz in the women’s singles champion.
Both are once again on duty in Lima and with the same players as at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. In the men’s team event Hugo Calderano heads the Brazilian line up alongside Gustavo Tsuboi, Vitor Ishiy and Eric Jouti, for Puerto Rico Adriana Diaz is once again supported by elder sister Melanie and Daniely Rios.
Undoubtedly for Brazil there is a debt to settle; at the Pan American Games they were the clear favourites for men’s team gold; in the women’s team event arguably the slight favourites. In the men’s team competition, they suffered a 3-1 semi-final defeat at the hands of the United States trio formed by Kanak Jha, Nicholas Tio and Nikhil Kumar; the only success for the Brazilians being the win secured by Hugo Calderano in opposition to Kana Jha.
Meanwhile, for the women, it was a pulsating 3-2 defeat at the hands Puerto Rico; the star of the show being Melanie Diaz. She partnered Daniely Rios to doubles success against Caroline Kumahara and Jessica Yamada, before saving match points in the vital fifth and deciding match against Bruna Takahashi to secure gold.
At the 2019 Latin America Team Qualification tournament, the Olympic Games format is again the criteria; doubles followed by four singles, with no player competing in more that two matches should the contest extend the full five match distance.
The meeting between Puerto Rico, the top seeds and Brazil the no.2 seeds, in the women’s team event, could the doubles prove crucial? At the Pan American Games, Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios beat Caroline Kumahara and Jessica Yamada by the very narrowest of margins to set Puerto Rico on the victory path.
Equally in the men’s event, for Brazil, the top seeds, Argentina, the no.2 seeds, represented by Gaston Alto, Horacio Cifuentes and Pablo Tabachnik is the major rival. Notably in the doubles there is a potential clash between pairs who have enjoyed success at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments. Earlier this year Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi won in Slovenia, more recently Gaston Alto and Horacio Cifuentes succeeded in Poland.
Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico, very much the teams to note but also take heed of Chile, they appear in both the men’s team and women’s team events. In a somewhat similar vein they have the quest to put things right after a disappointing Pan American Games. They departed the table tennis events without a medal to their name.
In the men’s team event the selection reads Nicolas Burgos, Gustavo Gomez, Juan Lamadrid and Manuel Moya; for the women it is Judith Morales, Daniela Ortega, Valentina Rios and Paulina Vega.
A tough task ahead for Chile, it is even more testing for the hosts. In the men’s team event Peru selects from Adolpho Cucho, Felipe Duffoo, Rodrigo Hidalgo and Jhon Loli; for the women it is Ana Aragon, Lucciana Cisneros, Mariagrazia La Torre and Maria Maldonado.
Four teams in each event, both competitions are organised on an all-play-all basis; each team completes one fixture per day, only one table is used throughout.