A tradition of success in Latin America; that tradition of success appears set to continue; on Thursday 18th May, at the 2017 South American Under 11 and Under 13 Championships in the Paraguayan capital city of Asuncion, Brazil won the Under 11 Boys’ Team title.
It was an impressive performance from the duo of Leonardo Ilzuka and Guilherme Marchiori as it was from the Ecuadorian pairing of Angelica Arellano and Maria José Borja, the gold medallists on the counterpart Under 11 Girls’ Team competition.
Directed by Andrew Martins, a three-nil margin of victory was posted by Leonardo Ilzuka and Guilherme Marchiori in opposition to Argentina, who selected Nicolas Callaba and Thiago Peralta for the singles matches with Tobias Pereyra and Tomas Saavedra forming the doubles pairing.
Top spot for Brazil, it was third place for the Ecuador outfit of Esteban Alban, Henry Ibarra and Joshua Robayo. They secured a three-two win in opposition to Peru’s Renzo Zabellos, Fernando Ortiz, Mati Puerto and Angelo Ardito; the latter two formed the doubles pairing.
Earlier Ecuador had experienced a three-nil defeat at the hands of Argentina; Peru had lost by the same margin when facing Brazil.
“I am proud, I am one of the two coaches who specifically care for Brazil’s young players; this is their first international tournament. It shows we are on the right path.” Andrew Martins
“I feel very good because my partner and I won a very important medal that not everyone has. There has been lot of effort in the training. I thank my family, my coaches and my colleagues for all the support.” Leonardo Iizuka
“I feel very good too, as Leonardo said, not everyone gets a gold medal in a South American tournament. I also want to thank my club, my training partners, my coaches and of course my family.” Guilherme Marchiori
Performances to attract the attention; it was the same from Angelica Arellano and Maria José Borja, who were guided to victory by Rocio Salazar. The duo accounted for Colombia’s Ana Isaza and Mariana Ruiz at the semi-final stage by three matches to one prior to recording a three-one success over Peru’s Ana Yenobi and Valentina Zea in the final.
“Winning an event is an emotion you live for; the girls already lost some matches but proved that nothing is impossible. I thank God for making this achievement possible.” Rocio Salazar
“I feel very happy; the triumph is dedicated especially to my parents. I live in the United States but Quito is an important part of my life. At first I was a bit nervous but I was controlling it.” Angelica Arellano
“I’m happy to have added a win to my career; the training was tough so I hope to keep on achieving goals. In the doubles I was a little nervous but we improved and we managed to win.” Maria José Borja
Colombia with Ana Isaza and Mariana Ruiz on duty overcame the Chilean combination of Catalina Zuniga, Martina Montecino and Maria Valenzuela to gain third place; earlier the Chileans had experienced a close three-two semi-final defeat against Peru.
by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor