14 Sep 2021

Success for the hosts, contrary to expectations, on Monday 13th September, the Dominican Republic booked their place in the under 15 boys’ team event final at the 2021 ITTF Pan American Youth Championships in Santo Domingo.

Eduardo Darley, Rafael Cabrera and Ramon Vila, the no.5 seeds, emerged a trio in form.

by Ian Marshall

A 3-0 success was the margin of victory in the penultimate round against Puerto Rico, the no.6 seeds, represented by José Nieves, Enrique Rios and Derek Valentin; however, one round earlier, life had been much more exacting.

Rafael Cabrera emerged as the star of the show, accounting for Ye Zelin (11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7) and, in the vital fifth match of the engagement, David Mandelstam (7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4) in a full distance 3-2 win against Canada, the no.4 seeds.

The one remaining success for the Dominican Republic was recorded in the opening contest of the engagement, when Ramon Vila beat David Mandelstam (12-10, 12-10, 11-4).

In the final, the United States, the no.3 seeds await; similarly, they upset the order of merit and needed the full five matches to record a quarter-final win.

Facing Brazil, the top seeds, Daniel Tran proved the key to United States success. He beat both Leonardo Kenzo (8-11, 11-6, 2-11, 17-15, 11-9) and Felipe Arado (11-5, 14-12, 11-3). The one further win was gained by Nanadan Naresh, in the opening match of the fixture, he overcame Felipe Arado (10-12, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6).

Likewise, in the semi-final contest against Peru, the no.2 seeds, in a 3-1 win, Daniel Tran beat both Alejandro Vera (10-12, 11-2, 11-9, 11-9) and Sebastian Zeballos (5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5). Nandan Naresh added the one further success, in the second match of the engagement, he overcame Sebastian Zeballos (11-9, 11-8, 11-3).

Surprise finalist, in the under 15 girls’ team event, it was no different. Canada, the no.9 seeds, recorded a 3-2 penultimate round win against Puerto Rico, the no.2 seeds.

Crystal Liu, backbone of success against Puerto Rico (Photo: Martin Avila María)


Mainstay of the success was Crystal Liu. She beat Edmarie Leon (7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6), before in the vital concluding match of the fixture, accounting for Kristal Melendez (4-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6). Jessie Xu added the one further success for the United States; in the third match of the fixture, she overcame Alahia Medina (11-6, 11-6, 11-2).

One round earlier, Canada had secured a 3-1 win against the Dominican Republic, ironically their only defeat being that of Crystal Liu in the opening encounter when facing Shary Munoz (2-11, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9).

Just as in the boys’ event, the United States presents the opposition in the final; at the semi-final stage, the top seeds, the trio comprising Sarah Jalli, Sally Moyland and Emily Tan recorded a 3-0 win against Guatemala’s Jenny Cux, Kimberley Garcia and Katerine Ruiz.

Play in the team events concludes on Tuesday 14th September.

General News 2021 ITTF Pan American Youth Championships 2021 ITTF Pan American Youth

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