by Calvin Koh
The Ecuadorian topped the standings in his group matches with victories over Puerto Rico’s Yadier Velez Lopez and compatriot Tomas Piedra. After receiving a bye in the Round of 16, Cedeno continued his unbeaten run by eliminating Peru’s Sebastian Renzo Zeballos with a straight-game 3-0 victory.
He then dispatched fellow compatriot and second seed Diego Piguave 3-1 (11-8, 12-14, 11-6, 13-11) in the semi-final before overpowering Valentin in the final to complete his winning run in the Under-17 Boys’ Singles competition.
“Today was a hard day as all my opponents are very good, and I needed to be at my best. In the end, I felt very comfortable and managed to get first place in the Under-17 competition.
“All thanks to god, my mother and all the people who have supported me. Tomorrow’s going to be a new day where new challenges await. I hope to continue getting good results in this WTT event,” said a delighted Cedeno.
In the Under-13 Boys Singles competition, Brazil’s Hamilton Kenzo Hato Yamane savoured his early career success by lifting his maiden title at Polideportivo del Complejo de Totoracocha.
Hato Yamane’s quality was evident early in the group stages when he won all three matches against Puerto Rico’s Sebastian Cruz Ruiz, Guatemala’s Diego Suchite and Ecuador’s Boris Nestor Villavicencio.
In the quarter-final, the Brazilian navigated safe passage to the final in the knock-out rounds, starting with a 3-0 win over Ecuador’s Ricardo Bernal in the Round of 16 before prevailing 3-2 against American Stanley Hsu.
He then took down Puerto Rico’s Steven Joel Moreno Rivera 3-1 in the semi-final before confirming his status as the best player in the Under-13 Boys’ Singles competition with a comprehensive 3-0 triumph over Enrique Yezue Rios Torres of Puerto Rico.
“I am happy with today’s victory. This is the first time I won a title in a WTT event, and I hope to have more results like this in the future. For tomorrow, I hope to play better than today. That’s my next goal,” said Hato Yamane.
Wednesday, October 27, will determine the champions for the Under-19 and Under-15 Boys’ Singles. All eyes will be on the two top seeds, Closset and Piguave, who could potentially meet in the final, having received a bye in the quarter-final
WTT Youth Contender Cuenca is the first-ever WTT Youth Series event to be staged in Pan America. It provides aspiring youths with the opportunity to embark on their table tennis careers.
More than a hundred youths from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Congo Democratic, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela are competing for top honours across five categories (Under-19, Under-17, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11) in both Boys’ and Girls’ events.
For more information on WTT Youth Contender Cuenca, click here.