Paula Medina steered Colombia to victory over Puerto Rico
Photo By: Gabriel Munguia
Colombia and Peru secured the two remaining places available for the Women’s Team event at the Pan American Games to be staged in Guadalajara in October 2011.
On the morning of Saturday 30th May, also in Guadalajara but not in the venue that will be used for the table tennis events at the Pan American Games, Colombia overcame Puerto Rico and Peru defeated Argentina to book their places in the prestigious quadrennial multi-sport event.
Represented by Paula Medina, Johana Araque and Luisa Zuluaga, Colombia recorded a three-one victory against Puerto
Mainstay of the Colombian victory was 22 year old Paula Medina; she beat both Jerica Marrero and Daniely Rios, to guide Colombia to victory.
The one further win for the victors came in a hard fought doubles duel with Johana Araque and Luisa Zuluaga succeeding in a five games against Jerica Marrero and Daniely Rios. The one success for Puerto Rico came in the second match of the contest when Carelyn Codero levelled matters by beating Johana Araque.
Pleased but with Reservations
“Of course I am very happy that we have qualified for the Pan American Games”, said Rodrigo Paz, the coach for the Colombian Women’s Team. “However, I’m not really satisfied with the performance; I expected better.”
The quietly spoken Rodrigo Paz appeared somewhat relived rather than jubilant; Colombia had qualified but they had done things the hard way, they had left matters to the very last.
Did Not Adapt
“We did not adapt well to the conditions in Guadalajara”, added Rodrigo Paz. “We played in the World Championships in Amsterdam which was much lower than here in Guayaquil and that perhaps is a reason why we have not performed well here.”
Rotterdam is at sea level, Guadalajara is over 1,500 metres higher!
“Johana found it difficult to solve the change in altitude”, continued Rodrigo Paz. “Against Puerto Rico Daniely Rios blocked very well against Paula and caused problems; whilst Luisa was nervous.”
Success for Peru
Nevertheless, Colombia succeeded as did Peru against Argentina.
Represented by Francesca Vargas, Angela Mori and Maria Soto; Peru posted a three-nil win against Argentina with every match being decided in four games.
The success of the team is of particular note; the commbined age of the team is only 46 years!
Angela Mori is 16 years old as is Maria Soto whilst Francesca Vargas is only 14 years of age!
Francesca Vargas beat Kim Hae Ja, Angela Mori defeated Paula Fukuhara with Maria Soto and Francesca Vargas concluding matters with a doubles victory over Ana Codina and Kim Hae Ja.
The 12 teams who qualify to compete in the Women’s Team and Women’s Singles events at the Pan American Games to be staged in October 2011 are as follows:
Canada, United States of America, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru.
Four places remain in the Women’s Singles event; a qualifying competition to decide those place commences on Tuesday 30th May and concludes one day later on Tuesday 31st May 2011.