by Ian Marshall
In his opening group phase match, he beat fellow Ecuadorian, 22-year-old John Espinoza in seven games, the closest match of the day (11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5), prior to rather more comfortably ending the day by overcoming Puerto Rico’s Yadir Lopez (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7).
Most certainly experienced counted as no doubt did the fact that Geovanny Coello is no stranger to playing at high altitude. He hails from Quito, some 9,350 feet above sea level, Cuenca is 8,400 feet above sea level.
“Last year in December I had surgery; I’ve been training hard since August when I had fully recovered. My last official tournament was in 2016 at the Latin American Championships in Puerto Rico when we achieved third place in the team event. In Ecuador, I have played rankings and national tournaments as preparation for 2022.
I am enjoying the games, not stressing myself. I am trying to enjoy the environment, so I am very excited.” Geovanny Coello
Disappointment for Ecuador
Success for Geovanny Coello but for colleagues, Jeremy Cedeño and Paul Ponce there were defeats.
Jeremy Cedeño lost to Puerto Rico’s Derek Valentin (11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11), Paul Ponce was beaten by Guyana’s Shemar Britton (6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
“I have no real expectations I just want to play my best and go as far as possible. It is my first tournament in about 18 months because of the pandemic. I just come to play my best. The altitude here in Ecuador is pretty high so it is very hard to breathe and play. Coming from Guyana we play at sea level, so I am adjusting.” Shemar Britton
Success for Shemar Britton and a most successful opening day; later in the proceedings he accounted for Peru’s Rodrigo Vigo (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8) to secure first place in the group.
Geovanny Coello and Shemar Britton, alongside Mexico’s Juan Jesus Gomez ended the initial day of action as the only unbeaten players; in the one match required, Juan Jesus Gomez overcame Derek Valentin (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Play in the first stage of the men’s singles event concludes on Wednesday 3rd November.