BRAZIL AND THE UNITED STATES RULE IN TEAM TABLE TENNIS
On the final day of competition at the Pan American Games, both countries secured gold in the team table tennis category.
Table tennis players from the United States and Brazil were crowned champions in the men’s and women’s team table tennis competitions at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, concluding the events at the National Olympic Training Center in Santiago.
The first final was the women’s team event, where the United States defeated Puerto Rico 3-1. Team USA consisted of Amy Wang, Lily Zhang, and Rachel Sung, while Puerto Rico’s team included Adriana Díaz, Melanie Díaz, and Brianna Burgos.
“I’m very happy, very excited because I won it not just for myself, but with my teammates. I think winning together as a team means more than winning individually. I’m very happy that we won this gold medal,” said Amy Wang.
The first match was in doubles, with Brianna Burgos and Melanie Diaz representing Puerto Rico, while Amy Wang and Rachel Sung played for the United States. United States won this contest with scores of 11-4, 11-7, 11-9. In the second match, Adriana Díaz faced Lily Zhang.
This match was won by the Puerto Rican player with scores of 7-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10. The penultimate match saw Brianna Burgos facing Rachel Sung, which ended with scores of 11-6, 11-9, 12-14, 11-1 in favor of the United States. The final match featured Adriana Diaz and Amy Wang, which was an intense game ultimately won by the American with scores of 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 8-11, 16-14.
“Truly, the Puerto Rico’s table tennis team has done an excellent job in the competition. We exceeded expectations; we didn’t think we would reach the final in the team category, and beyond that, we showed that we are a family,” said Adriana Diaz after the defeat.
In this category, there is no third and fourth-place decisive match, so Chile and Brazil received the bronze.
HUGO CALDERANO LEADS BRAZIL
The men’s team final was between Brazil and Canada, with Brazil winning 3-1. Brazil fielded a team of Hugo Calderano, Kenji Jouti, and Vitor Ishiy, while Canada’s trio consisted of Simeón Martin, Eugene Wang, and Edward Ly.
The first match was between Jouti and Ishiy against Martin and Wang. Brazil won this match with scores of 11-9, 11-5, 11-6. The second encounter featured Calderano against Ly, which Brazil won with scores of 10-12, 11-0, 11-5, 11-4. The penultimate showdown was between Wang and Jouti. This time, Canada won with scores of 11-9, 11-8, 12-10. The final match was again played by Hugo Calderano against Simeón Martin, and the Brazilian won with scores of 11-6, 11-9, 11-7.
“I know my responsibilities to the team; everyone has expectations that I will win the Games. We have to keep training hard. We have many international tournaments and preparations for the Paris Olympics,” said Hugo Calderano after the victory.
With this medal, Calderano, currently ranked 4th in the world, won three medals at these Pan American Games, including a silver in the men’s doubles category and two golds in the individual and the recent team event.
In this category, there is no third and fourth-place decisive match, so the United States and Argentina received the bronze.
Written by Francisco Foullioux