by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Equally, with one fixture still to complete, it was a similar situation for Argentina, the third seeds, a day without any great anguish and, providing they complete their initial phase itinerary, first place already safely pocketed.
Represented throughout by Bruna Takahashi, Gui Lin and Jessica Yamada, Brazil posted a three-nil win against the Mexican trio comprising Alejandrina Mendez, Yadira Silva and Marbella Aceves. An imposing start, it was followed by the same margin of victory in opposition to Cuba’s Idalys Lovat, Lisi Castillo and Shelly Machado.
Notably, the only moment of concern for the Brazilians came in the doubles contest against the hosts; Gui Lin and Jessica Yamada needed five games to beat Idalys Lovat and Shelly Machado (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2). Otherwise, on no occasion was a deciding game required.
Likewise, only one visit to the table required, following the non-appearance of Colombia, the Chilean trio comprising Paulina Vega, Cristal Menesis and Judith Morales showed no charity when facing Guyana’s Trenace Lowe, Natalie Cummings and Jodyann Blake. A three-nil win was the order of proceedings.
Mexico now faces Cuba to decide second place in the group; Guyana is assured of runners up spot; teams finishing in first and second places in each of the three groups advance to the main draw.
Three-nil wins for Brazil and Chile; it was the same for Argentina but the contests somewhat more exacting.
Selecting Camila Arguelles, Ana Codina and Candela Molero for each contest, success was recorded in their opening engagement against El Salvador’s Estefania Ramirios, Emme Arias and Wang de Yang. The player to pose questions being Estefania Ramirios, in the opening match of the engagement she extended Camila Arguelles the full five games distance (3-11, 11-6, 15-13, 9-11, 11-2).
A successful start, arguably in the second engagement of the day, when facing the Dominican Republic formation comprising Eva Brito, Yasiris Ortiz and Esmerlyn Castro, the outcome was closer than the score-line may suggest. The player to cause the Argentine outfit problems was Yasiris Ortiz. She extended Ana Codina to five games (12-14, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5), before doing exactly the same in the doubles when partnering Esmerlyn Castro. Camila Arguelles and Candela Molero needed the full five games to secure victory (11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5).
In the remaining fixtures in the group, Argentina confronts Barbados, the Dominican Republic faces El Salvador to determine second place. On the first day of action with no team changes, both El Salvador and the Dominican Republic recorded three-nil wins against the Barbadian outfit comprising Damielle Walton, Janae Lewis and Kenady King.
The quarter-final fixtures are scheduled for Monday 5th March; the semi-finals one day later with the final being played on Wednesday 7th March.