Inaugural Pan American Junior Championships
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Adriana Diaz – Photo courtesy of ITTF / by: Bogdan Pasek

Latin American Heroines Lead Field at Inaugural Pan American Junior Championships

Latin American Heroines Lead Field at Inaugural Pan American Junior Championships

Courtesy of ITTF

Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi lead the field in the Girls’ Singles event at the forthcoming Pan American Junior Championships to be staged in the Canadian city of Burnaby in British Columbia.

Proceedings commence on Saturday June 25th and conclude on Thursday June 30th.

Sharm El-Shiekh 
Approaching eight months ago in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Shiekh it was Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi who guided Latin America to the top prize in the Girls’ Team event at the 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge; later Bruna Takahashi won the Girls’ Singles title with Adriana Diaz, the bronze medalist.

Notably both will be on duty at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games; Adriana Diaz in the Women’s Singles event, Bruna Takahashi in the Women’s Team competition, where she lines up alongside Caroline Kumahara and Gui Lin.

Special Players 
In Latin America two special players, both born in 2000 have arrived at the same time.

Both have already won Junior Girls’ Singles titles on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, the rivalry may well be the best motivator for each of them

Notably Bruna Takahashi won in Colombia in 2014 as well as last year in both Paraguay and Puerto Rico. Similarly, Adriana Diaz has collected three such titles, in 2015 she won in Croatia, before this year adding a further two titles to her name in her two appearances, the perfect record. She won in both the Slovak Republic and in Poland.

Role Models 
Furthermore, they have set an example of what is possible; the next generation has role models.

It is equally the same for North America, Lily Zhang proved what is possible by securing the bronze medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games; like Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi; she will be on duty at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Lily Zhang has set the example for compatriot Crystal Wang to follow; notably she was born in 2002 and has just celebrated her 14th birthday. In Burnaby, she is next in line to Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi.

Stepping Stone 
Surely the fact that such young players are leading the line can only be a positive for Pan America but of course there are pitfalls and all must be aware that junior table tennis is a stepping stone to the next level.

Stepping very shortly to that next level is now the task of the players next on the list, both in their concluding year as a junior or perhaps let’s phrase that better, awaiting their first year in the senior ranks.

Brazil’s Leticia Nakada and Angela Guan of the United States are the respective fourth and fifth seed; both have ITTF World Junior Circuit titles to their credit. Leticia Nakada won in Peru in 2013, Angela Guan last year in Canada.

Completing Top Eight 
Both are players who can make an impact on proceedings as are the three names who complete the top eight.

Brazil’s Alexia Nakashima is the no.6 seed, followed by Puerto Rico’s Lineris Rivera and Peru Janina Nieto.

Proceedings commence with the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events, which are played to a conclusion on the second day of action.

The Junior Boys’ Doubles, Junior Girls’ Doubles and Junior Mixed Doubles competitions will be staged in their entirety on Monday June 27th with the Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team events commencing on Tuesday June 28th and comprising the final three days.

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