El Salvador, Mar 25, 2013: Youth was the order of the day at the ITTF Latin American Championships, as 20 year old Paraguayan Marcelo Aguirre won the men’s gold and 17 year old Brazilian Caroline Kumahara showed the nerves of a seasoned veteran to clinch the women’s title in El Salvador.
It was the young duo’s first triumph in a major senior event and will give them an immense amount of confidence for the rest of the year’s tour.
In the much anticipated men’s final, Marcelo Aguirre, the no.3 seed, beat Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto, the no.1 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 4-11, 3-11, 6-11, 11-7) in a gripping match; whilst Caroline Kumahara, the no. 2 seed, claimed her historic victory by beating compatriot Ligia Silva, the no.5 seed (11-8, 4-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8).
After the exhausting 7 game match, Aguirre stated: “It was a very good match, I played very good in the first 3 sets, then Cazuo changed his tactics and won the next 3 sets. I was happy that I could recover to win the last game to become champion.” Watch the full interview here.
“I just tried to do the right play and focused on serving well. I am very happy to be the youngest ever champion”, said a stunned Kumahara. Watch the full interview here.
Caroline Kumahara added to her singles gold, by claiming the Mixed Doubles crown, teaming up with her Brazilian team mate Eric Jouti.
The Women’s Doubles title went to Chile’s Judith Morales and Paulina Vega, whilst the Men’s Doubles gold was secured by the Argentine pairing of Rodrigo Gilabert and Diego Temperley.
Surprisingly, the Senior Singles champions Caroline Kumahara and Marcelo Aguirre were unable to replicate their senior form in the under 21’s event, as Brazilian Vitor Ishiy was too strong in the boy’s under 21 final and Peru’s Francesca Argas walked away with gold at the girls under 21 event. —- ITTF/ Photos by: Gerardo Lopez