Gustavo Tsuboi Regains Title but More than One Reason to Celebrate in Havana
Courtesy of ITTF
The winner at the inaugural edition in Rio de Janeiro in 2011, Gustavo Tsuboi regained the ITTF-Latin America Men’s Singles title, when he emerged successful in Havana, Cuba on Sunday May 31st.
On the concluding day of play in the three day tournament, the Brazilian had more than one reason to rejoice; in addition to securing the top step of the podium, it was also his 30th birthday.
It was a day to remember, a day never to be forgotten.
Disappointment in Asuncion
Furthermore, he laid to rest the woes of one year ago in the Paraguayan capital city of Asuncion when, the top seed, as in Havana, he had been beaten at the semi-final stage by Mexico’s Marcos Madrid.
One year later he made no mistake, displaying the determination and the strength of character that he had seen him beat Paraguay’s talented Marcelo Aguirre in the 2011 final.
At the semi-final stage in Havana he accounted for Puerto Rico’s 18 year old Brian Afanador (9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8), before recovering from a two games to nil deficit to secure the title at the final expense of compatriot, Cazuo Matsumoto, the defending champion and the second seed (8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7).
In the counterpart semi-final, Cazuo Matsumoto had beat Ecuador’s Alberto Miño (11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6, 11-1).
Familiar Friends and Foes
“We know each other since we are juniors; we train together and this was the most difficult match I had”, said Gustavo Tsuboi after beating Cazuo Matsumoto. “The match was always close and this time I had to fight back.”
Gustavo Tsuboi duly recovered and of course was celebrating not once but twice.
“It was really hot and I had to change the rhythm to win”, he added. “I am twice happy because it is my birthday today; now I will take some time to enjoy this and I will think of the Pan American Games.”
Playing in Germany Beneficial
Gold and silver for Brazil, it was a very creditable bronze for Ecuador, Albert Miño beat Brian Afanador to secure third place.
“It was hard to play now after losing in the morning, it is difficult to think clearly for such a match; that’s why I went two-nil down”, said Alberto Miño who plays for the Zugbrücke Grenzau Club in the German Bundesliga. “Fortunately I could recover and win which is great; playing in a German club for the last three seasons has helped a great deal to improve my level.”
Qualifies for Halmstad
Success for Gustavo Tsuboi, he now qualifies for the Liebherr Men’s World Cup to be staged in Halmstad, Sweden from Friday October 16th to Sunday October 18th.
Results: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles:
Visit ITTF.com for more coverage from the 2015 ITTF Latin American Cup.