Toronto, July 21, 2015: Brazil and the USA are the respective men’s and women’s 2015 Pan American Team Champions after a ruthless display today in Toronto, Canada.
A sell out crowd were on hand to witness Brazil beating Paraguay 3-0 in the men’s and the USA defeating Brazil 3-0 in the women’s finals to show that they are the best teams in the Americas.
Brazil continued their dominance of the men’s team event, by beating the number 10th seeds, and the surprise packets of the competition, Paraguay to win their seventh Pan American title.
19 year old Hugo CALDERANO, who is playing in his first Pan American Games set the tone for the Brazilians, thrashing Alejandro TORANZOS 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 in the opening match in just 18 minutes.
“It is amazing that I have won gold at my first ever Pan Am Games. It was a lot of pressure playing in the first match today, but I am very pleased to have given the team the best possible start” stated the 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist.
Teammate Thiago MONTEIRO did not waste any time, putting Brazil 2-0 up, after he defeated Marcelo AGUIRRE 12-10, 11-7, 11-4. With his 3rd teams gold medal in a row around his neck, he stated: “I feel I played well today because it was the final, for us there was a lot of pressure as we were expected to win and Paraguay could just play relaxed and freely. This result has given me confidence for the singles.”
CALDERANO partnered Gustavo TSUBOI to close out the seventh Pan American title for Brazil. The Brazilian duo outpowered the Paraguayan pair of Axel GAVILAN and Marcelo AGUIRRE 13-11, 12-10, 11-4 to seal a memorable gold medal.
The silver medal for Paraguay was their first ever medal in the table tennis events at a Pan American Games; furthermore, it ranks alongside their best in any sport in the quadrennial gathering.
Team USA won their sixth Pan American Women’s title by defeating Brazil 3-0 in the final.
Brazil, who were the number one seeds heading into the event, were looking for their first Women’s team title, but were no match for the Americans.
Jiaqi ZHENG gave the USA team a perfect start, defeating Lin GUI 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 in the opening fixture.
ZHENG, who is a traditional penholder stated: “Before the match I was very nervous, as this means the world to me. It was the first told I played GUI, so I just tried to attack her as much as possible. I was very happy I could give the team a winning start.”
2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Lily ZHANG kept up the momentum by saving one match point to defeat Caroline KUMUHARA in the second game 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10. A delighted 19 year old stated after the match: “We know each other so well, we have played many times. In the fifth game I tried not to think of the score, just about playing my style and keeping a clear head. It is an amazing feeling to be the champion. Words can’t describe how happy I am”
To clinch the gold, Jiaqi ZHENG partnered with Yue WU to beat Gui LIN & Silva LIGIA in the doubles 12-10, 11-6, 11-8.
Puerto Rico created history in both the men’s and women’s teams event by claiming bronze, which is their first ever table tennis Pan American Games medal. They were joined on the bronze medal podium by the hosts Canada, who also won bronze in the men’s and women’s team events.
The 2015 Pan American table tennis event continues tomorrow with the commencement of the singles event, which runs until Saturday 25 July 2015. —- ITTF
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