Champion in Peru, Brian Afanador Regains Title on Home Soil
2015 Latin American Junior and Cadet Championships
Courtesy of ITTF
The winner two years earlier in the Peruvian capital city of Lima; playing on home soil in the Puerto Rican town of Aguada, Brian Afanador regained the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2015 Latin American Junior and Cadet Championships, when he emerged successful on the early evening of Sunday June 28th.
Occupying the top seeded position in the competition, at the final hurdle he accounted for Brazil’s Gustavo Yokota, the no.4 seed, in five games to arrest the title (11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4).
A sense of satisfaction for Brian Afanador, not only in winning the title but in the name of the player he beat in the final. Immediately after the 2013 Latin American Junior and Cadet Championships in Lima, the Peru Junior and Cadet Open followed. Brian Afanador was beaten in the first round of the Junior Boys’ Singles event by Gustavo Yokota.
Defeat for Gustavo Yokota but he gave the best performance of any player against the 18 year old Puerto Rican; on the concluding day of play, he was one of only two players to extract a single game from the champion elect. The one other player to achieve the feat was Mexico’s Jair Jimenez, in the first round he secured the third game but no more (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-3).
The opening hurdle negotiated successfully; there was no more charity from the focused teenager.
At the quarter-final stage he beat Brazil’s Isaac Zauli, the no.6 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7), before reserving his place in the final courtesy of success against Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.3 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5).
“I kept playing my game and using my skills, I trusted my skills and I was pleased how I played in the whole tournament”, said Brian Afanador. “I gave a 110 percent, right now my strength is weak; I gave everything to have that gold medal”.
A place in the final as seeding predicted for Brian Afanador; for Gustavo Yokota it was a different journey.
After beating Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez (16-14, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7) and Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi, the no.7 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 8-11, 11-9), he caused an upset of note. He overcame Fermin Tenti, the no.4 seed and like Francisco Sanchi, also from Argentina, in a hard fought seven games duel (11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7) to secure his place in the final.
Success in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, Brian Afanador also enjoyed Junior Boys’ Doubles success; he partnered Yomar Gonzalez to gold.
The no.2 seeds, the Puerto Rican duo accounted for the top seeded Argentine pairing of Fermin Tenti and Horacio Cifuentes at the final hurdle (6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 14-12).