by Ian Marshall
Moreover, not only did Mexico provide the winners, also they spawned the runners up!
Juan Jesus Gomez and Arantxa Cossio overcame colleagues Dario Arce and Clio Barcenas (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5) to arrest the title in what was a repeat of the final earlier this year in April, when the end result had been the same at the Central American Youth Championships in Guatemala.
Perhaps they learnt from that encounter; on that occasion the verdict had been decided by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10).
Many years ahead
Good news for Mexico, all four have surely many years to come. Dario Arce and Clio Barcenas are both 19 years old, Juan Jesus Gomez in 18 years of age, Arantxa Cossio one year younger.
“It was very special because we played against Mexico, it was fun. Also after winning this event, we have more trust in ourselves for the Pan American Youth Games in Cali” Arantxa Cossio
Impressive from the Mexican teenagers; it had been equally eye-catching in the later rounds.
Juan Jesus Gomez and Arantxa Cossio beat Ecuador’s Rodrigo Tapia and Mylena Plaza (11-5, 11-6, 11-4), before overcoming India’s Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).
Similarly, Dario Arce and Clio Barcenas accounted Puerto Rico’s Derek Valentin and Fabiola Diaz (12-10, 11-6, 11-4), prior to ending the hopes of India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Ankita Das (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).
Success for Juan Jesus Gomez; it was the same in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events.
In the former he caused a major quarter-final upset by beating India’s Mudit Dani, the top seed (6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-0, 13-11) to reserve his place in the penultimate round where he meets Rodrigo Tapia, the no.4 seed and last eight winner against Austria’s Tarek Al-Samhoury (7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7).
“At the beggining of the tournament it was very hard to get used to the speed of the ball. I’ve adapted and now I am feeling great.” Juan Jesus Gomez
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, partnering Dario Arce, the duo recorded a semi-final win in opposition to the host nation’s Emiliano Riofrio and Rodrigo Tapia (11-9, 11-7, 11-8); in the title deciding contest India’s Sanil Shetty and Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the winners against Ecuador’s Jeremy Cedeño and Diego Piguave (12-10, 11-8, 11-8), await.
Good form in both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles from Dario Arce; it was the same in the men’s singles. Like Juan Jesus Gomez, he caused a notable quarter-final upset, the no.8 seed, he accounted for Sanil Shetty, the no.2 seed (5-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9).
Manush Utpalbhai Shah now awaits; the no.6 seed, he reserved his quarter-final place courtesy of success when facing Emiliano Riofrio, the no.3 seed (9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7).
Mexico to the fore; it was the same in the women’s singles and women’s doubles events.
Alas for Arantxa Cossio it was a quarter-final women’s singles defeat at the hands of India’s Reeth Tennison (4-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9); conversely for Clio Barcenas it was progress, she accounted for Puerto Rico’s Fabiola Diaz (16-14, 12-10, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7).
Clio Barcenas now meets Ankita Das, the winner against Ecuador’s Mylena Plaza (11-3, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 2-11, 11-6); Reeth Tennison faces Nathaly Paredes, like Mylena Plaza, also from Ecuador.
At the quarter-final stage Nathaly Paredes accounted for Puerto Rico’s Kristal Melendez (11-8, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8).
Progress of Ankita Das and Reeth Tennison when apart; progress when together.
They reserved their place in the women’s doubles final by overcoming Nathaly Paredes and Mylena Plaza (11-5, 11-9, 11-6); in the final they confront Clio Barcenas and Arantxa Cossio, the semi-final winners in opposition to Fabiola Diaz and Kristal Melendez (11-8, 12-10, 11-3).
Play in Cuenca concludes on Saturday 6th November with one fact certain; in every event there will be a place for Mexico on the medal podium.