17 Oct 2021

The destination is Cuenca, a city located in the highlands of Ecuador, some 8,400 feet above sea level; it is the home for the 2021 ITTF Pan American Under 11 and Under 13 Championships, play commencing in the seven day tournament on Monday 18th October.

Now 13 years ago, it was also the destination for international competition; the player to shine on that occasion was the host nation’s 18 year old Alberto Miño.

by Ian Marshall

Guided by Paul Bermeo, at the 2008 Ecuador Junior and Cadet Open, an ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, Alberto Miño won the boys’ singles title.

Earlier this year he became the first ever athlete from Ecuador to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.

Currently, alongside Benedikt Duda, Alvaro Robles and Elias Ranefur, he represents TTC Schwalbe Bergneustadt in the powerful German Bundesliga.

It is in his footsteps that a new generation aims to follow.

Home advantage

Seizing the advantage of competing on home soil, a total of 16 boys and 16 girls’ will represent Ecuador.

Team events commence play, being organised on what was once used for the Corbillon Cup (A v X, B v Y, Doubles, A v Y, B v X); two players competing in singles events, the option of adding further names for the doubles.

Notably in the under 13 girls’ team event, Ecuador occupies the top two seeded places. Nohelia Ortiz and Anie Rubio head the list followed immediately by Maybelline Menendez and Belen Pacheco.

Argentina, fielding Agustin Asmu, Tomas Soria and Franco Varela lead the under 13 boys’ team seeding, ahead of Puerto Rico’s Steven Moreno and Enrique Torres.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Emanuel Otalvaro and Juan Pineros occupy the top seeded under 11 boys’ team spot, next in line is Argentina’s Mateo Carranza, Santiago Nuñez and Matias Zeniquel.

Likewise, Colombia is prominent in the under 11 girls’ team competition, Nataly Acuna and Gina Guevara reserve the second seeded position, behind Brazil’s Maiara Alves, Alicia Andrade and Ana Imai.

Looking ahead

Play in the individual events – in each age group boys’ singles, girls singles, boys’ doubles, girls’ doubles, mixed doubles – commences on Thursday 21st October.

One wonders, is there a player on duty from Ecuador or perhaps another nation who may emulate Alberto Miño?

Is there player on duty who may compete in the 2036 Olympic Games?


General News 2021 ITTF Pan American U13 & U11 Championships 2021 ITTF Pan American U13 & U11 Championships

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