Last Two Places Decided, Yadira Silva and Gremlis Arvelo Rio Bound
2016 ITTF-Latin American Olympic Games Qualification
Courtesy of ITTF
April 3, 2016 – The final two places to be decided at the 2016 ITTF-Latin American Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Santiago, Chile; on Sunday April 3rd, the question in a tense atmosphere was who would join Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Colombia’s Lady Ruano, alongside the Brazilian duo of Caroline Kumahara and Gui Lin in the Women’s Singles event at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Some nine hours after play began on the concluding day of action, the answer was known; Mexico’s Yadira Silva and Venezuela’s Gremlis Arvelo were the players to seize the last two available places.
After accounting for Trinidad and Tobago’s Rheann Chung (11-1, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8) and in a full distance seven games encounter Venezuela’s Neridee Niño (12-10, 5-11, 10-12, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-4), Yadira Silva secured her place in Rio de Janeiro in some three months’ time by overcoming the host nation’s Katherine Low in five games (11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8).
“Playing with crowd against me in the final match was very difficult but I had a very positive mind-set”, said Yadira Silva, who by succeeding had secured a place in her third consecutive Olympic Games. In addition she retains the distinction of being the only Mexican woman to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.
“I had to change tactics during the match because Katherine put me under pressure”, added Yadira Silva. “I want to dedicate this win to all in Mexico who support me a lot and also to all the coaches who help me.”
Disappointment for Katherine Low, who had given total commitment in the cause of Chile; en route to the crucial contest against Yadira Silva, she had beaten Puerto Rico’s Daniely Rios (12-10, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5), Cuba’s Lisi Castillo (11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7) and Argentina’s Ana Codina (11-7, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8).
An impressive performance by Yadira Silva, it was an equally impressive effort by Gremlis Arvelo.
In the deciding contest, she accounted for Paula Medina and dashed the Colombian’s hopes of a third consecutive Olympic Games appearance; like Yadira Silva, Paula Medina had competed in Beijing in 2008 and four years later in London.
Remaining calm and totally focused, Gremlis Arvelo won in six games (11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7).
Competed in Nanjing
“I am very happy with this result, being in an Olympic Games is a dream for every athlete and I beat a very experienced player”, said Gremlis Arvelo who had competed in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
“It was a very tough match, Paula Medina is a very strong player”, added Gremlis Arvelo. “I dedicate the victory to my family and to Venezuela.”
Earlier in the day, Gremlis Arvelo have suffered defeat one day earlier in the crucial deciding contest against Gui Lin (11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11) had been in no mood for charity.
She beat Chile’s Karen Rojas in five games (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-3) before overcoming Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz in four straight games (11-5, 11-7, 11-3, 12-10).
Meanwhile, on her journey to the vital duel Paula Medina had overcome Guatemala’s Mabelyn Enriquez (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5), El Salvador’s Estefania Ramirios (11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5) and Argentina’s Camila Arguelles (6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8).
Success for Gremlis Arvelo means that she is the fifth Venezuelan to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.
At the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, Francisco Lopez played in the Men’s Singles event, Elisabeth Popper in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition.
Notable names but by some distance the most notable of all is Fabiola Ramos; she competed in the Women’s Singles event in five consecutive Olympic Games.
She was present in Atlanta in 1996, in Sydney in 2000, four years later in Athens, before more recently competing in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.
Additionally in Sydney and Athens she partnered compatriot Luisana Perez in the Women’s Doubles event; while in London, following a vigorous campaign by Luisa Perez, Fabiola Ramos was selected to carry the Venezuelan flag at the Opening Ceremony.
Gremlis Arvelo reads in illustrious footsteps.