20 Nov 2021

Winner two years ago, the host nation’s Elias Romero completed a successful defence of his title in the only event to be concluded on the first day of action, Friday 19th November, at the ITTF Para Copa Tango 2021 in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires.

In a group organised event, the top seed, he emerged successful ahead of colleague Mauro Depergola and Canada’s Muhammad Mudazzar.

by Ian Marshall

Gold for Elias Romero on what proved a positive day in the men’s singles events for the top seeds; the only exceptions being Chile’s Cristian Gonzalez in class 4, Brazil’s Guilherme da Costa in class 1-2 and the absence of the Czech Republic’s Paul Karabec in class 10.

Cristian Gonzalez finished in first place in his initial phase group but experienced a semi-final defeat when opposing Brazil’s Eziquiel Babes (11-6, 7-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11-4). In the final Eziquiel Babes meets Chile’s Maximiliano Rodriguez.

Lives to fight

Defeat terminal for Cristian Gonzalez, not for Guilherme da Costa.

In the group phase he was beaten by Argentina’s Guillermo Bustamente (5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8). He finished in second place, progressed to the quarter-finals where he duly accounted for Argentina’s Fernando Eberhardt (11-8, 12-10, 11-6).

At the semi-final stage he meets compatriot Iranildo Espindola; in the opposite half of the draw, the host nation’s Guillermo Bustamente confronts Chile’s Vicente Leiva.

Meanwhile in class 10, Brazil’s Claudio Massad, the no.2 seed, opposes Argentina’s Dario Neira in the final.

Top seeds advance

Somewhat differently, the top seeds in the remaining men’s singles events, all advanced to the title deciding contest.

In the class 3 final, Argentina’s Gabriel Copola meets Chile’s Alfonso Diaz, in class 6 Chile’s Matias Pino opposes compatriot Ignacio Torres, in class 7 the Czech Republic’s Daniel Horhut confronts Brazil’s Paulo Fonseca.

Likewise, in class 8, Japan’s Arufuahirokazu Tateishi faces Argentina’s Alejandro Perez; in class 9, a group administered event, Brazil’s Lucas Carvalho meets Chile’s David Letelier in the concluding match. Lucas Carvalho, the only unbeaten player in the group, providing he turns up, is assured of the title.

Problems for prominent names

Conversely, in the women’s singles events, there were problems for the top seeds.

Competing in class 1-5, Argentina’s Maria Garrone finished in second position in her group, losing to Brazil’s Thais Severo (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7), before recording a semi-final success in opposition Argentina’s Nayla Kuell (11-3, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8).

A place in the final and an opportunity for revenge; Maria Garrone now meets Thais Severo in the gold medal contest. First place in the group, in the penultimate round Thais Severo accounted for Chile’s Tamara Leonelli, the no.2 seed (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4).

Likewise situation

Similarly, in class 6-10, Argentina’s Giselle Muñoz, the top seed, lost to Brazil’s Sophia Kelmer (7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9).

Sophia Kelmer ended the day unbeaten and now meets Argentina’s Maira Iquelme in her concluding contest. Giselle Muñoz opposes Chile’s Ailyn Espinoza, who on the opening day experienced defeat at the hands of Sophia Kelmer (11-6, 11-7, 11-7).

Play in the individual events concludes on Saturday 20th November.

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