by Ian Marshall, Editor
Brazil, the top seeds in the men’s team event brought the day to and end; a 3-0 win being result against Peru.
Vitor Ishiy and Gustavo Tsuboi beat Jhon Lou and Felipe Duffoo (11-8, 11-8, 11-8), Hugo Calderano accounted for Rodrigo Hidalgo (11-4, 11-2, 11-6), before Gustavo Tsuboi defeated Felipe Duffoo (11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4) to end matters.
“Tokyo 2020 is the big goal, I hope we can qualify and get a medal. It is my great dream; playing here has great memories since here I managed to win men’s singles gold at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. It is very satisfying to see young talents in Peru and in this sport in general, I hope they continue improving their skills and never stop fighting for their goals.” Hugo Calderano
“I entered to the game focused on winning, unfortunately it didn’t happen. Our coach always advises us to fight until the end regardless of the result. Like my teammates who are young these matches help us understands the sport better,” Felipe Duffoo
Recovery from opening reverse
The Brazilian win came after Argentina, the no.2 seeds, had recovered from an opening game reverse to beat Chile, the no.3 seeds.
Tried and trusted, former Latin American champions, Gaston Alto and Pablo Tabachnik experienced defeat in the opening encounter against Nicolas Burgos and Gustavo Gomez (10-12, 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8); to the rescue came Horacio Cifuentes, he beat both Manuel Moya (13-11, 11-8, 11-4) and Nicolas Burgos (11-5, 11-3, 11-6). Sandwiched in between Gaston Alto overcame Gustavo Gomez (11-7, 11-5, 11-7).
“The objective is only one: to classify. We have tough opponents like Brazil and we know they have top players. Chile made an excellent doubles, tactically they were superior. In the singles we recovered and managed to win our matches. The idea is always to fight for every point. We will try to return home having given everything and without reproaching ourselves. We hope to continue improving during this competition.” Gaston Alto
“Brazil and Argentina are very difficult rivals but we have prepared. We had previously played Argentina and we lost, today we couldn’t make it but we won the doubles. Argentina has very experienced players, I still have many years ahead and I learn from high level athletes like them.” Nicolas Burgos
Successful in Lima in August at the 2019 Pan American Games, Puerto Rico, the top seeds, had set the day in motion by recording a 3-0 win in opposition to Peru, the no.4 seeds, in the women’s team event.
Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios gave the Caribbean island the perfect start by beating Lucciana Cisneros and Maria Maldonado (11-2, 11-3, 11-3), before Adriana Diaz overcame Ana Aragon (11-2, 11-3, 11-8) and Daniely Rios brought matters to a conclusion by succeeding against Maria Maldonado (11-4, 11-5, 11-3).
“The goal is to get the qualification to Tokyo, we want to become champions again as in Lima 2019. Table tennis was not so well known in my country. Now there are many people who play and support us during every championship.” Adriana Diaz
“Playing against people of such a high level gives us a very good experience. Despite the result, we really enjoyed this first match; this championship is a big challenge for us and we will always give everything for our country.” Maria Maldonado
A convincing win for Puerto Rico was followed by an equally imposing 3-0 success in the women’s team event for Brazil, the no.2 seeds, in opposition to Chile, the no.3 seeds.
Caroline Kumahara and Jessica Yamada secured the doubles by overcoming Daniela Ortega and Paulina Vega (11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7); Bruna Takahashi prevailed against Valentina Rios (11-8, 12-10, 11-7), prior to Caroline Kumahara closing the curtain by defeating Daniela Ortega (11-9, 11-8, 11-8).
“The first match of a tournament is always very difficult and starting against Chile was very hard. We train a lot for tournaments like this and we prepare to give our best for both singles and doubles.” Caroline Kumahara
“We were very focused during the whole match. It was good to win with such a convincing result. I hope to play well throughout the tournament and get the qualification to Tokyo. Having only one match per day has a positive side, it allows us to rest and prepare well for each match.” Bruna Takahashi
“The last time we played against Brazil I was able to defeat Caroline, this time she played much better tactically and that’s what surprised me. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to the level of Brazil. In this match I made some mistakes that I don’t normally make, I hope to improve for the next match.” Daniela Ortega
Fixtures for second day
On the second day of play, Saturday 26th October, in the men’s event Brazil faces Chile, Argentina opposes Peru; in the women’s competition it is Puerto Rico versus Chile, Brazil in opposition to Peru.