16 Sep 2021

Direct entries to the main draw for the top eight names; in the quest to join the elite, as play advanced in the group stage of both the under 15 boys’ singles and under 15 girls’ singles events at the 2021 ITTF Pan American Youth Championships in Santo Domingo, the unexpected exceeded the expected.

In the boys’ event of the 10 groups, five witnessed surprise first places, in the counterpart girls’ competition the ratio was even higher, six of the 11 groups realised unanticipated winners.

by Ian Marshall

In the girls’ event, as status advised it was first place for Sally Moyland of the United States, Colombia’s Ana Isaza and Maria Ruiz, as well as for Puerto Rico’s Alahia Medina and Canada’s Crystal Liu.

However, for the top two names on duty, there were defeats. Guatemala’s Jenny Cux and Kimberly Garcia experiencing problems.

Jenny Cux was beaten by Sarah Jalli of the United States (11-6, 11-6, 11-4), Kimberly Garcia by Venezuela’s Nathacha Mata (8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6).

Sarah Jalli and Nathacha Mata both remained unbeaten to secure first places, runners up spots and thus progress to the main draw was the consolation for Jenny Cux and Kimberly Garcia.

Disappointment for Guatemala but there was the other side of the coin, Daniela Linares secured first place contrary to expectations, but it was close. She finished in first place on games ratio ahead of Mexico’s Magdalena Briones and Brazil’s Sofia Kano.

It was a situation that also applied to Mexico’s Barbara Serna; she ended the day ahead of Brazil’s Beatrix Flore and Peru’s Carla Vera.

Magdalena Briones and Beatrix Flore commenced play, the respective seventh and eighth rated players on first stage duty.

Unexpected first positions, lower down the list, Brazil’s Sabrina Miyabara and Canada’s Fu Ching Nam ended the day as surprise group winners.

Meanwhile, in the boys’ event, the players to cause the most notable upsets were Colombia’s Emanuel Otalvaro, Daniel Tran of the United States and Brazil’s Kim Iwasaki; all ending the day unbeaten and safely through to the main draw.

However, the success recorded by Daniel Tran against the host’s Ramon Vila (11-6, 11-6, 11-7) could hardly be considered a major surprise. Daniel Tran had completed the cadet boys’ team event unbeaten

Perhaps the wins secured by Emanuel Otalvaro against Peru’s Gonzalo Vera (12-10, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5), and Kim Iwasaki when facing Guatemala’s Luis Carrillo (11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7) were more worthy of the description.

Gonzalo Vera commenced matters the second highest rated on group stage duty, being followed immediately by Ramon Vila and Luis Carrillo.

Lower down the order Ecuador’s Juan Martin Gonzalez and Colombia’s Daniel Cruz gained unexpected first positions.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Ye Zelin and Laurent Jutras-Vigneaul alongside the United States duo of Jensen Feng and Darius Fahimi secured first group places as anticipated, a situation that applied also to the Dominican Republic’s Eduardo Darley.

In addition to the boys’ and girls’ doubles in the under 15 age group category, the first round in both the boys’ singles and girls’ singles will be completed on Thursday 16th September.

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