Once again clean sweep for Giulia Takahashi
by Ian Marshall, Editor
After having earlier in the week partnered Laura Watanabe to success in the junior girls’ team event, on the concluding day of play, she added the junior girls’ singles, junior girls’ doubles and cadet girls’ singles titles to her collection.
The no.2 seed, safely through to the junior girls’ singles quarter-finals, she reserved the top step of the podium at the expense of colleagues Lhays Stolarsky (11-6, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8) and Livia Lima, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-1, 11-6, 13-15, 11-5) prior to overcoming doubles partner Laura Watanabe, the top seed (12-10, 13-11, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9) to claim gold.
In the opposite half of the draw, at the same stages Laura Watanabe had ended Chilean hopes; she ousted Macarena Montecino, the no.7 seed (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8), followed by success in opposition to surprise semi-finalist Chile’s Constanza Mesas (11-6, 13-11, 15-13, 15-13).
No current under 18 world ranking, at the quarter-final stage, Constanza Mesa had caused a major upset; she had overcome compatriot Jerusalen Flores, the no.4 seed (13-11, 12-10, 11-3, 12-10). Equally, she impressed in the cadet singles. The no.8 seed, she beat Colombia’s Juliana Lozada (13-11, 11-7, 11-7) followed by success against colleague Fernanda Araneda, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) to reach the final, where Giulia Takahashi ended adventures (11-7, 11-3, 11-7).
Moreover, partnering Fernanda Araneda, the top seeds, the duo accounted for Peru’s Karla Mendoza and Cecilia Zea (12-10, 11-6, 12-10) to claim cadet girls’ doubles gold.
Earlier, the top seed, Giulia Takahashi had recorded a quarter-final success against colleague Karina Shiray (11-3, 11-4, 11-7), prior to booking her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Peru’s Cecilia Zea (11-8, 11-4, 11-6). Defeat for Karina Shiray but there was success. She won the mini-cadet girls’ singles title beating Ecuador’s Keimy Anchundia in the final (11-7, 11-5, 11-9).
Two titles for Giulia Takahashi secured on the concluding day of play, three overall; the junior girls’ doubles success recorded in harness with Laura Watanabe added the icing to the cake. The duo overcame Argentina’s Divina Ding and Valentina Parola (9-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-8) to secure the top step of the podium.
Adding to success at the South American Junior and Cadet Championships, it was the same in the cadet boys’ singles and it was in the junior boys’ doubles.
Leonardo Ilzuka, who had partnered Giulia Takahashi to cadet mixed doubles gold some eight days earlier, repeated his cadet boys’ singles success. Once again he won against the odds, at the continental tournament he was the no.8 seed, at the ITTF World Tour tournament, the no.9 seed.
Safely through to the last eight, he beat the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Cabrera, the no. 17 seed (11-5, 11-5, 12-14, 11-9), Ecuador’s Diego Piguave, the top seed (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8) and Peru’s Rodrigo Vigo, the no.6 seed (11-6, 5-11, 11-3, 11-7) to secure the top step of the podium.
Notably, in the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Rodrigo Vigo had beaten Ecuador’s Jeremy Cedeño, the no.2 seed (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8), followed by success in opposition to Colombia’s Felipe Fajardo (11-6, 5-11, 11-3, 11-7).
Likewise in the junior boys’ doubles Argentina’s Matias Guadalupe and Matias Velarde repeated their South American success in more ways than one.
In the final one week ago, they had beaten Peru’s Matias Guadalupe and Matias Velarde in a dramatic contest (5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11), on the concluding day in Lima, they did the same again, only this time less dramatically.
They won in four games (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3).
Gold for Adolfo Cucho
Defeat for Adolfo Cucho but there was more than compensation. He won the junior boys’ singles title accounting for Brazil’s Kenzo Carmo in the final (7-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8). Thus for Kenzo Carmo, as had been the situation one week earlier, when losing to colleague Diogo Silva (12-10, 9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-7), it was again the silver medal.
A hard earned win for Adolfo Cucho, it had been the same in the later rounds. Facing Peruvian opposition, the no.2 seed, at the quarter-final stage, he had required the full seven games to beat Argentina’s Matias Velarde, the no.6 seed (6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7), prior to ousting Adrian Rubiños, the no.21 seed (11-6, 11-4, 11-2, 8-11, 11-4).
Similarly, being made to work hard for success, in the adjacent half of the draw, Kenzo Carmo, the no.3 seed, had overcome colleague Henrique Noguti, the no.25 seed (14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 12-10), followed by success in opposition to Argentina’s Matias Guadalupe, the no.5 seed (11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8). Notably, one round earlier, Matias Guadalupe had beaten Carlos Fernandez, the top seed (7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 16-14, 11-7).
One step higher
Once again the second step of the podium for Kenzo Carmo, in the cadet boys’ doubles it was one step higher for Jeremy Cedeño and Diego Piguave; in an all Ecuadorian final, they accounted for Paul Ponce and Jospeph Vasquez (11-6, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7).
Somewhat differently in the mini-cadet boys’ singles it was success for the Dominican Republic; at the final hurdle Rafael Cabrera accounted for Peru’s Gonzalo Vera (11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5).
Play on the ITTF World Junior Circuit is now suspended owing to the coronavirus.