13 Feb 2020

Safely through the opening round of the men’s singles event, then later in the under 21 men’s singles competition the cause of a major upset, very much 18 year old Nicolas Burgos was the player to attract the attention on the opening day of qualification in Lisbon at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open.

Moreover, he responded when crisis loomed.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In his opening men’s singles contest he accounted for Jamaica’s Simon Tomlinson (11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) and now meets Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei, the player who at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games finished in fourth place in the men’s singles event, losing to Brazil’s Hugo Calderano.

Progress as was to be anticipated, in the under 21 men’s singles event, after an opening round success against Uzbekistan’s Abdulaziz Anorboev (11-8, 11-8, 11-9), he caused a major upset. The no.18 seed, he overcame India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seed, by the very narrowest of margins (5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9) to book his place in the third round. He now meets his namesake, Nicholas Tio of the United States, the no.13 seed, for a place in the last eight.

Best finish

A quarter-final place beckons and that is his best at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament; it was the round he reached last year in Paraguay. Likewise on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, he has impressed, in 2018 he was a junior boys’ singles semi-finalist in Spain, in 2019 in both Chile and perhaps significantly in Portugal.

Furthermore, in 2017 in Paraguay he was crowned South American Junior champion, before in 2018 and 2019 being a semi-finalist in the Pan American Junior Championships.

Next level

Now he faces the toughest task of all, he is no longer a junior, he is in the no man’s land where some progress to senior level and others fall by the wayside; arguably under 21 events provide a stepping stone.

Moving to the next level is a major goal, succeeding on the senior stage; however, there is another goal.

He progressed through the initial stages of the men’s singles event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games; Tokyo is too soon but can he reserve a place in Paris in 2024 and revive Chilean fortunes.

Two decades

At the first four Olympic Games, Chile was always represented in the men’s singles; Jorge Gambra and Marcos Nuñez were present in 1988 in Seoul, four years later in Barcelona once again Marcos Nuñez competed, on this occasion alongside Augusto Morales. Later in 1996 in Atlanta, Augusto Morales was present as he was in 2000 in Sydney, Jorge Gambra returning to the scene.

Fast forward to 2004 in Athens, the representative was Juan Papic and that is where the story ends; it quite possible that Nicolas Burgos could be charged with ending a 20 year drought.

Paris 2024 is his goal.

Challenge Series 2020 Portugal Open Nicolas Burgos

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Day 3 - 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open