by Ian Marshall, Editor
He won the junior boys’ singles title at the delayed 2019 Pan American Junior and Cadet Championships; the semi-finals and finals being staged in Korat after earlier in the year in June it had not been possible to complete play in Cancun.
They say win a close match and confidence blossoms; if that is the case Nicolas Burgos should by sky high in self-belief. At the semi-final beat Nikhil Kumar in seven games (6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6), prior to overcoming Victor Liu in a similarly hard fought contest to secure the title (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8).
In the counterpart semi-final, Victor Liu had ended the hopes of Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish (12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5).
Spearheads hopes of continent and country
Success for Nicolas Burgos, the no.33 seed in the boys’ singles event, he is Latin America’s highest ranked player.
Moreover, on his shoulders the hope of Chile rests. In the boys’ team event he lines up alongside Andres Martinez, Jorge Paredes and Sebastian Gonzalez; the target is to gain a place in the quarter-finals but that is a tough target.
The top four seeded teams – Russia, Chinese Taipei, China, France – gain a direct entry; the remaining places are filled by the outfits that finish in first place in each of the four groups, three teams in groups.
Teams finishing in second and third positions in each group compete for places no.9 to no.16; their task may not be to gain a medal but there is a definite goal, to improve on previous appearances.
Life for Chile, the no.14 seeds, could hardly be more demanding. They are drawn in the same group as Japan, the no.5 seeds and Thailand, the no.12 seeds. Japan selects from Yukiya Uda, boys’ singles silver medallist one year ago in Bendigo, Shunsuke Togami, Hiroto Shinozuka and Kakeru Sone.
Meanwhile, for Thailand the line up reads Yanapong Panagitgun, Veerapat Puthikungasern, Wattanachai Samranvong and Thyme Sanglertsilpachai.
Major opportunity for United States
Earlier in the year on Monday 9th September in Asuncion, Paraguay, the junior girls’ singles event at the 2019 Pan American Junior and Cadet Championships was completed. In a competition dominated by the United States, Amy Wang emerged victorious.
After overcoming colleague Crystal Wang (13-11, 11-8, 2-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8), she beat Rachel Sung to secure the top prize (8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7). In the counterpart semi-final Rachel Sung had ended the hopes of Chile’s Valentina Rios (6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10).
Alongside Rachel Yang, all three Americans appear in the girls’ team line-up in Korat; furthermore, they have a realistic chance of a medal. The same organisation as in the boys’ event, the top four teams – China, Japan, Russia and Chinese Taipei – receive a direct entry to the quarter-finals. The United States is the next in line, thus they compete in the initial phase.
On the opening day of play, they confront familiar opponents in the guise of the no.13 seeds, Canada’s Sophie Gauthier, Joyce Xu, Benita Zhou and Kelly Fei Zhao; on the second day of action they conclude their initial phase contests by facing the no.12 seeds, Australia’s Matilda Alexandersson, Parleen Kaur, Michelle Wu and Oh Sue Bin.
The group phase fixtures conclude on Monday 25th November, the day on which the quarter-finals of both the boys’ team and girls’ team events will be played.