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Reservations Made for Forthcoming World Junior Championships
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

An untroubled day for Francisco Sanchi  Photo By: Thorsten Gohl

06/30/2016        2016 PANAM Junior Championships (Click here to access this section)

Places in the forthcoming World Junior Championships, to be staged in the South African city of Cape Town later this year; Argentina and the United States reserved their places in the prestigious tournament by reaching the final of the Boys’ Team event at the 2016 Panam Junior Championships in Burnaby, Canada.

Semi-final places reserved as a result of concluding the group stage in first places in their respective groups; on Wednesday 29th June both outfits were in imperious form.

Neither surrendered a single individual match as places in the title deciding contest were reserved.

Peru Surprise Semi-Finalists
Argentina, the top seeds, beat Brazil, the no.4 seeds, by three matches to nil; the United States performed likewise against Peru, the no.6 seeds and somewhat surprise semi-finalists.

Having finished in second place in their group one day earlier behind Canada ‘A’, the no.3 seeds, they overcame Puerto Rico, the no.7 seeds, to reserve their place in the last four.

Yomar Gonzalez Unbeaten
Notably Yomar Gonzalez beat both Moises Duffoo (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6) and Jhon Loli (8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-9) but those were to be the only successes for the Puerto Ricans.

Sebastian Echevarria was beaten Jhon Loli by the very narrowest of margins in the second match of the engagement (8-11, 11-9, 15-13, 7-11, 11-9), in vital fifth and deciding contest he suffered at the hands of Moises Duffoo (5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7). The one remaining success for Peru was recorded by Rodrigo Hidalgo in the third match of the fixture when he overcame Francisco Matias (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4).

Different Experience
A fine effort from the Peruvians but against the United States it was a very different experience.

Kanak Jha gave his team the ideal start by beating Moises Duffoo (11-8, 12-10, 11-9), before Sharon Alguetti overcame Rodrigo Hidalgo (11-7, 11-4, 11-6) and Adar Alguetti ended matters by defeating Jhon Loli (11-8, 11-5, 11-7).

“We were confident before the match”, said Sharon Alguetti. “We knew they had some difficulties in other matches but every team here is good and we knew we had to play well.”

Horacio Cifuentes Gives Good Start
Similarly in the corresponding semi-final, a good start was the spur to victory.

Horacio Cifuentes beat Rodrigo Yonesake (16-14, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5), Martin Bentancor defeated Gustavo Yokota (9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 13-11), prior to Francisco Sanchi concluding proceedings by defeating Siddharta Almeida (8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-1, 11-9).

Consolation for Brazil
Defeat for Brazil but there was an element of consolation and an air of revenge; on the previous day they had experienced a three matches to two defeat at the hands of the Canada ‘B’ Team comprising Alexander Bu, David Hong Lin and Edward Ly.

One day later at the quarter-final stage of proceedings, they caused a minor upset by beating Canada ‘A’, the no.3 seeds.

Team Effort
The win was recorded thanks to a team effort; for the host nation, the ever smiling Jeremy Hazin beat both Rodrigo Yonesake (11-9, 12-14, 11-9) and Gustavo Yokota (11-8, 14, 3-11, 6-11, 11-7).

Alas for the country wearing the badge of the Maple Leaf that was their only success.

Filip Ilijevski was beaten by both Gustavo Yokota (11-8, 11-3, 11-7) and in the crucial fifth and deciding contest by Rodrigo Yonesake (13-11, 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6). The one further win for the Brazil accrued in a nail-biting contest in the third match of the duel when Siddharta Almeida overcame Alexander Moran by the very narrowest of decisions (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Delighted with Success
“I am very happy that we on”, said Gustavo Yokota after the contest against Canada ‘A’.

“I was shouting for every point”, added Gustavo Yokota. “My heart was pounding.”

A pleased Gustavo Yokota, it was a very similar response from Rodrigo Yonesake.

“I am very happy”, he said. “We knew it would be a great match.”

Remaining Places
Two teams who will compete in the 2016 World Junior Championships; two are yet to be decided.

On the concluding day of play, Thursday 30th June, in addition to the final between Argentina and the United States; the losing quarter-finalists in the top half of the draw will play the losing semi-finalists in the lower half and vice versa.

The winners of each fixture will complete the teams qualified for the 2016 World Junior Championships.

Thus Brazil will play Puerto Rico; Canada ‘B’ will confront Peru.

Day Five: Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team events advance to semi-finals
Photos by Christian Martinez – RGB Studios



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