Saturday, November 16, 2019

Four gold for Bolivia & Costa Rica wins gold at home at 2019 IRF World Junior Championships

Bolivia swept gold in the Girl’s Doubles divisions and won one of the Boy’s divisions also on Saturday at the 2019 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in San José, Costa Rica. Bolivia won every final that they had a team in.

Five of the six finals were won in two straight games. But they saved the best for last, and it was a crowd pleaser too, as the Men’s U18 final was between the home country’s 9th seeded Costa Rica team of Pablo Freer and Tomas Sanchez and the 6th seeded Esteban De Janon and Juan Flores of Ecuador. That match went to a tie-breaker with Freer and Sanchez coming out on top, 8-15, 15-6, 11-0, to win gold on home soil. Freer cracked out several drive serves in the breaker to help his team to the win.

In Boy’s U16, Bolivians Hector Barrios and Adrian Jaldin defeated the USA’s Nikhil Prasad and Timothy Hansen, 15-11, 15-10, and Irish luck ran out in the Boy’s U14 final, as Mexicans Luis Renteria and Jorge Gutierrez beat Ireland’s Daniel Hanrahan and Keelan O’Gorman, 15-4, 15-6.

In girls’ action, Bolivians Angelica Barrios and Valeria Centellas completed Bolivia’s gold medal sweep by winning Girl’s U18 over 3rd seeds Marifer Gutierrez and Anna Rivera of Mexico, 15-6, 15-8. The Bolivians sweep got started in Girl’s U14 with 2nd seeds Valeria Miranda and Krystin Salinas of Bolivia defeating Gisele Nieto and Angela Ortega of Mexico, 15-8, 15-11, and it continued when Bolivians Micaela Meneses and Camila Rivero captured gold in U16, as they beat 2nd seeds Guadalupe Griffin and Ximena Martinez of Mexico, 15-5, 15-4.

The IRF streamed some of the finals via its Facebook page), and the matches are archived there, so if you missed some of the action - or want to see it again - check it out on Facebook.

31st IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
San José, Costa Rica - November 9-16, 2019


U18 Boy's Doubles

Final - Saturday

9) Pablo Freer & Tomas Sanchez (Costa Rica) d. 6) Esteban De Janon & Juan Flores (Ecuador), 8-15, 15-6, 11-0

U16 Boy's Doubles

Final - Saturday

2) Hector Barrios & Adrian Jaldin (Bolivia) d. 5) Nikhil Prasad & Timothy Hansen (USA), 15-11, 15-10

U14 Boy's Doubles

Final - Saturday

3) Luis Renteria & Jorge Gutierrez (Mexico) d. 8) Daniel Hanrahan & Keelan O’Gorman (Ireland), 15-4, 15-6

U18 Girl's Doubles

Final - Saturday

1) Angelica Barrios & Valeria Centellas (Bolivia) d. 3) Marifer Gutierrez & Anna Rivera (Mexico), 15-6, 15-8

U16 Girl's Doubles

Final - Saturday

1) Micaela Meneses & Camila Rivero (Bolivia) d. 2) Guadalupe Griffin & Ximena Martinez (Mexico), 15-5, 15-4

U14 Girl's Doubles

Final - Saturday

2) Valeria Miranda & Krystin Salinas (Bolivia) d. 1) Gisele Nieto & Angela Ortega (Mexico), 15-8, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

Four Gold for Bolivia, one for Costa Rica & the USA at 2019 IRF World Junior Championships

Bolivians swept gold in boy’s singles at the 2019 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in San José, Costa Rica, and they also captured gold in one girl’s divisions. The results are confirmation of Bolivia’s strength as a racquetball super-power.

Gerson Miranda of Bolivia was top seed in Boy’s U18, and he lived up to that seeding by beating Costa Rican Tomas Sanchez in the final, 15-7, 15-6.

The other two Boy’s finals went to a tie-breaker. In the U16 final, 2nd seed Hector Barrios of Bolivia upset the top seed Sebastian Longoria of Mexico, 15-4, 13-15, 11-7, and in Boy's U14, the top seed Jhonatan Flores (Bolivia) came back from a game down to defeat Nikhil Prasad of the USA, 8-15, 15-11, 11-4.

Bolivian Angelica Barrios got the better of her team-mate Valeria Centellas in the Girl’s U18 final, winning 15-10, 15-13, and earning Bolivia its 4th gold medal.

Costa Rican Maricruz Ortiz denied Bolivia a fifth gold medal, as she came back against Bolivian Micaela Meneses to win gold in Girl’s U16, 11-15, 15-2, 11-10. We thought that would be a close match, as Ortiz and Meneses were impressive in their earlier matches, and it lived up to the billing.

Heather Mahoney won the USA’s only gold medal, as she defeated Mexican Angela Ortega, 15-10, 15-10, in the Girl’s U14 final.

The IRF streamed some of the finals via its Facebook page), and the matches are archived there, so if you missed some of the action - or want to see it again - check it out on Facebook.

31st IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
San José, Costa Rica - November 9-16, 2019


U18 Girl's Singles

Final - Saturday

3) Angelica Barrios (Bolivia) d. 1) Valeria Centellas (Bolivia), 15-10, 15-13

U16 Girl's Singles

Final - Saturday

5) Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica) d. 2) Micaela Meneses (Bolivia), 11-15, 15-2, 11-10

U14 Girl's Singles

Final - Saturday

2) Heather Mahoney (USA) d. 8) Angela Ortega (Mexico), 15-10, 15-10

U18 Boy's Singles

Final - Saturday

1) Gerson Miranda (Bolivia) d. 6) Tomas Sanchez (Costa Rica), 15-7, 15-6

U16 Boy's Singles

Final - Saturday

2) Hector Barrios (Bolivia) d. 1) Sebastian Longoria (Mexico), 15-4, 13-15, 11-7

U14 Boy's Singles

Final - Saturday

1) Jhonatan Flores (Bolivia) d. 2) Nikhil Prasad (USA), 8-15, 15-11, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, November 15, 2019

Crazy doubles results at 2019 IRF World Junior Championships

Remember how we said yesterday that doubles matches at international events can be a toss up? Well consider that the six final teams in Boy’s Doubles at the 2019 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in San José, Costa Rica, come from six countries: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Mexico and the USA. In contrast, the Girl’s Doubles finals will all be Bolivia versus Mexico.

Also notable is that the boy’s teams in the finals are the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th seeds. In the girl’s finals, it’s #1 versus #2 in two of the finals, and #1 versus #3 in the other.

Let’s start with perhaps the most surprising finalists: Ireland’s Daniel Hanrahan and Keelan O’Gorman. In Boy’s U14, they defeated Colombians Juan Rodriguez and Duvan Torres in two close games, 15-14, 15-12, to become the first Irish players in a final at World Juniors since 1998 (according to a tweet by Racquetball Ireland).


In the final, the Irish boys will play the 3rd seeded Mexicans Luis Renteria and Jorge Gutierrez, who needed three games to upset 2nd seeds Jhonatan Flores and Ezequiel Subieta of Bolivia, 15-5, 6-15, 11-5.

As with the quarterfinals in Boy’s U18, the semis were also close with both going tie-breaker and one ending in an upset. The 9th seeded Costa Ricans Pablo Freer and Tomas Sanchez caused that upset by holding off the 4th seeded Argentina team of Diego Garcia and Tomas Oyhanart, 15-3, 9-15, 11-8.

Thus, Freer and Sanchez will have a chance to win gold at home, when they play 6th seeds Esteban De Janon and Juan Flores of Ecuador on Saturday. Ecuador also won a close tie-breaker in defeating the 7th seeded Mexican team of Emir Martinez and Jose Ramos, 15-10, 8-15, 11-9.

When did we last see a final between the 6th seed and the 9th seed? Have we ever seen it?

In Boy’s U16, the 5th seeded USA team of Nikhill Prasad and Timothy Hansen upset the 1st seeds Sebastian Longoria and Erick Trujillo of Mexico by just about the closest scoreline possible: 15-14, 14-15, 11-8. The USA will play Bolivia in the final, as Hector Barrios and Adrian Jaldin of Bolivia defeated Josue Bermeo and Pablo Vera of Ecuador, 15-9, 15-13.

In Girl’s U18, top seeds Angelica Barrios and Valeria Centellas of Bolivia are in the final, as expected, as they beat 4th seeds Fabiana Landy and Ana Sarmiento of Ecuador, 15-1, 15-2. Bolivia will play the Mexicans Marifer Gutierrez and Anna Rivera, who were the only upset winners in girl’s doubles Friday, as they were seeded 3rd and defeated the 2nd seeded USA team of Nikita Chauhan and Erin Slutzky, 15-9, 15-6.

Also of note, Cubans Suniaris Rodriguez and Loraine Felipe were one game away from becoming the first Cuban team to be in a World Junior Final, as they went tie-breaker in the Girl’s U16 semi-finals, but ultimately fell to Mexicans Guadalupe Griffin and Ximena Martinez, 4-15, 15-8, 11-5. Mexico will play Bolivia in the final, as Bolivians Micaela Meneses and Camila Rivero defeated Costa Ricans Sofia Freer and Maricruz Ortiz, 15-13, 15-8.

The IRF will stream some of the finals live via its Facebook page). The times for the matches are central standard time.

31st IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
San José, Costa Rica - November 9-16, 2019


U18 Boy's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

9) Pablo Freer & Tomas Sanchez (Costa Rica) d. 4) Diego Garcia & Tomas Oyhanart (Argentina), 15-3, 9-15, 11-8
6) Esteban De Janon & Juan Flores (Ecuador) d. 7) Emir Martinez & Jose Ramos (Mexico), 15-10, 8-15, 11-9

Final - Saturday

6) Esteban De Janon & Juan Flores (Ecuador) v. 9) Pablo Freer & Tomas Sanchez (Costa Rica) - 3 PM

U16 Boy's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

5) Nikhill Prasad & Timothy Hansen (USA) d. 1) Sebastian Longoria & Erick Trujillo (Mexico), 15-14, 14-15, 11-8
2) Hector Barrios & Adrian Jaldin (Bolivia) d. 3) Josue Bermeo & Pablo Vera (Ecuador), 15-9, 15-13

Final - Saturday

2) Hector Barrios & Adrian Jaldin (Bolivia) v. 5) Nikhill Prasad & Timothy Hansen (USA) - 2 PM

U14 Boy's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

8) Daniel Hanrahan & Keelan O’Gorman (Ireland) d. 4) Juan Rodriguez & Duvan Torres (Colombia), 15-14, 15-12
3) Luis Renteria & Jorge Gutierrez (Mexico) d. 2) Jhonatan Flores & Ezequiel Subieta (Bolivia), 15-5, 6-15, 11-5

Final - Saturday

3) Luis Renteria & Jorge Gutierrez (Mexico) v. 8) Daniel Hanrahan & Keelan O’Gorman (Ireland) - 1 PM

U18 Girl's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

1) Angelica Barrios & Valeria Centellas (Bolivia) d. 4) Fabiana Landy & Ana Sarmiento (Ecuador), 15-1, 15-2
3) Marifer Gutierrez & Anna Rivera (Mexico) d. 2) Nikita Chauhan & Erin Slutzky (USA), 15-9, 15-6

Final - Saturday

1) Angelica Barrios & Valeria Centellas (Bolivia) v. 3) Marifer Gutierrez & Anna Rivera (Mexico) - 3 PM

U16 Girl's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

1) Micaela Meneses & Camila Rivero (Bolivia) d. 4) Sofia Freer & Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-13, 15-8
2) Guadalupe Griffin & Ximena Martinez (Mexico) v. 3) Suniaris Rodriguez & Loraine Felipe (Cuba), 4-15, 15-8, 11-5

Final - Saturday

1) Micaela Meneses & Camila Rivero (Bolivia) v. 2) Guadalupe Griffin & Ximena Martinez (Mexico) - 2 PM

U14 Girl's Doubles

Semi-finals - Friday

1) Gisele Nieto & Angela Ortega (Mexico) d. 4) Ava Kaiser & Kareena Mathew (USA), 15-3, 15-1
2) Valeria Miranda & Krystin Salinas (Bolivia) d. 3) Anna Aguilar & Andrea Reyes (Guatemala), 15-6, 15-11

Final - Saturday

1) Gisele Nieto & Angela Ortega (Mexico) v. 2) Valeria Miranda & Krystin Salinas (Bolivia) - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….