by Simon Daish
On duty in Rio de Janeiro, Marcos Madrid was well beaten by another player who celebrated his Olympic Games debut in 2016 with Brian Afanador, the no.5 seeded entry in Rosario, storming past the Mexican in commanding fashion (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7).
A noteworthy win for Afanador, next up for the Puerto Rican is Cuba’s Jorge Campos who continues to upset the order. Seeded 13th, Campos was the talk of the town on day one with his victory over top seed Marcelo Aguirre and now he can add sixth seed Gaston Alton to the list, completing a 4-1 win over the host nation representative (8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10).
The highest remaining seed in the men’s singles race, Argentina’s very own Horacio Cifuentes is just one step away from Tokyo after the second seed successfully negotiated his quarter-final affair.
Cifuentes accounted for the player seeded six positions lower, Chile’s Juan Lamadrid across five games (11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5) to set up a head-to-head qualification play-off with Dominican Republic’s Wu Jiaji, no.14 seed, following his stunning victory over the no.4 seed from Ecuador, Alberto Miño (14-12, 11-7, 11-9, 12-14, 10-12, 11-7).
Top seed in the women’s singles event, Melanie Diaz is amongst the final four names through to the knock-out 1 qualification deciders.
The 24-year-old from Puerto Rico came away with her second consecutive 4-0 victory in Rosario, although Diaz encountered strong resistance from Guatemalan counterpart Mabelyn Enriquez in the second game of their quarter-final clash (11-4, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8).
A surprise name awaits Diaz in the qualification match with Cuba’s Daniela Fonseca Carrazana enjoying another fine result on day two. Producing a stunning comeback victory against no.3 seed Daniela Ortega earlier in the day, Fonseca Carrazana, seeded 15th, proved successful again in the afternoon – this time, however, the margin was more convincing with the Cuban besting the Mexican no.13 seed Monica Munoz 4-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).
Chile’s Paulina Vega and Mexico’s Yadira Silva will fight over the other ticket to Tokyo following a successful session from both competitors: second seed Vega looked most assured in her meeting with Dominican Republic’s Eva Brito (11-1, 13-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-9). Silva also impressed with the no.5 seed toppling the player seeded directly above her in Argentina’s Camila Arguelles (12-10, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7).
The day concludes with four qualification matches with play scheduled from 17.00 local time.