(by Steve Hopkins)
With two days left, the 2022 ITTF Pan American Cadet Championships (U15) tournament is heating up in Cuenca, Ecuador. The team events have already concluded – and Team USA secured gold medals in both the girls and boys events.
Puerto Rico was the tournament top seed with Brazil entering the tournament as the second seed. Brazil failed to make the knock-out stages by falling 3-1 to Team USA AND falling 3-2 to the Dominican Republic. With Brazil out, the final four teams were Puerto Rico v. Dominican Republic and USA v. Ecuador.
The boys defeated Ecuador 3-0 in the Semifinal with wins by Daniel Tran, Darryl Tsao, and Andrew Yang. They then went on to defeat Puerto Rico in the Final. Daniel Tran defeated Steven Moreno 3-0 to give Team USA a 1-0 lead, Enrique Rios then topped Darryl Tsao to even the game score for Puerto Rico, Andrew Yang scored USA’s second point with a 3-1 win over Yadier Lopez, and Daniel Tran sealed the victory with a 3-1 win over Enrique Rios.
In the Girls Team event TeamUSA was the top seed with Brazil second. Team USA finished the group undefeated and moved on, but Brazil again stumbled – losing to Ecuador and finishing second in the group. That set up a fierce cross over match between USA and Brazil (the top two seeded teams) with USA winning 3-2 to advance to the Final (Sally Moyland, Rachel Wang and Amy Zhang were the three US players with Sally winning twice and Rachel winning once). In the other Semifinal, Ecuador topped Peru. Team USA defeated Ecuador 3-1 with Sally Moyland, Rachel Wang, and Kayla Goodwin fighting for Team USA. Sally defeated Anie Rubio 3-0, Rachel topped Angelica Arellano 3-0, Kayla fell to Keimy Leon Anchundia 1-3, and Sally closed out the match with a 3-1 win over Angelica.
The U15 Boys will play Quarterfinals and Semifinals thoughout Saturday. Darryl Tsao, Andrew Yang, and Daniel Tran are all still alive in the event for TeamUSA. Girls U15 is also through to the Quarters and Sally Moyland, Rachel Wang, and Amy Zhang will each play later today.
Lots of action is yet to come .
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