Friday, April 10, 2009

Pan American Championships - Quarter Final results

Another day, another set of strange circumstances at the Pan American Championships in Cali, Colombia. How strange? Well, consider that one of the matches Thursday had a rain delay. No, this isn't outdoor racquetball, but nevertheless there was a 20 min rain delay in the match between Mexican Samantha Salas Solis and Frédérique T. Lambert of Canada.

The day began hot and sunny in Cali, but then turned cloudy and around 3:30 PM it started storming, thunder, lightning, the plenty of water works. And it kept up for about two hours. The club has a terracotta roof, and it wasn't up to keeping out that amount of water.

In Salas Solis and Lambert were playing the third game of their match having split the first two. Salas Solis had the early lead in the tie-breaker, 3-1, but Lambert had gone up 6-3 when water started leaking into the court.

Play was halted for 20 minutes. After drying the court, play resumed and Lambert finished off the match winning 15-6, 2-15, 11-6 to reach her first international semi-final in only her second appearance for Canada.

Lambert will play Carola Loma of Bolivia who beat compatriot Jenny Daza Navia, 15-6, 15-4.

In the other semi final are Paola Longoria (Mexico) and Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (USA). Longoria made short work of Claudine Garcia (Dominican Republic), winning 15-6, 15-4, and Gudinas Holmes was almost flawless in her match against Canadian Jennifer Saunders, winning 15-5, 15-10.

Gudinas Holmes admitted to not playing well earlier in the event, but that all changed Thursday. She'll need to repeat that on Friday if she's going to beat Longoria, who defeated Gudinas Holmes in each of their five meetings on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) tour this season.

In women's doubles, it'll be USA and Canada in one semi-final, and Bolivia and Mexico in the other. Americans Aimee Ruiz and Jackie Paraiso, the reigning World Champions, defeated Cubans Maria Regla Viera Gonzalez and Marialis Alvarez Rodriguez, 15-5, 15-6, while Canadians Josée Grand'Maître and Véronique Guillemette beat Colombians Carolina Gomez and Cristina Amaya, 15-12, 15-1.

On the other side of the draw, Loma and Daza Navia (Bolivia) defeated Ivonne Carpio and Maria Paz Munoz of Ecuador, 15-2, 15-9, and Salas Solis and Longoria teamed up to defeat Venezuelans Ishley Mariana Paredes and Silvia Agreda, 15-1, 15-2.

In earlier women's action, Rhonda Rajsich's injury default to Longoria in the Round of 16 Wednesday was due to her falling on her racquet early in game one. Medical expects on the scene feared that Rajsich may have been severely injured, so they advised that she go to a hospital for further examination. And she did.

However, reports are that Rajsich wanted to continue the match, despite the injury. Thus, apparently she appealed the match result the following day on the grounds that she wanted to continue playing and was prevented from doing so. This appeal, if made, was unsuccessful.

Men's Divisions

Top seed Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) remained on track to repeat as Pan American Champion by defeating Juan Herrera (Colombia), 15-3, 15-8. Next up for him in the semi-finals is American Andy Hawthorne who defeated Canadian Vince Gagnon in the quarters, 11-15, 15-8, 11-2.

On the bottom of the draw, Kris Odegard of Canada will have an opportunity to get reach a third Pan American final in four years on Friday, as he defeated Chris Crowther (USA), 15-9, 9-15, 11-4, in the quarter finals.

Standing in Odegard's way is Polo Gutierrez of Mexico, who beat Bolivian Felipe Mercado, 15-7, 15-10, in the other quarter final.

In doubles, the Mexican team of Javier Moreno and Gilberto Mejia were behind in game one of their match with Canadians Lee Connell and Mike Green, who was playing very well. But they came back to win it, and then the Mexicans went on to win the second game taking the match, 15-12, 15-4.

They'll next play the American team of Ben Croft and Mitch Williams, who defeated Colombians Juan Pablo Rivas and Juan Herrera, 15-13, 15-10, in a hard fought quarter final match.

On the top of the draw, the Ecudaorian team of Fernando Rios and Juan Diego Rodriguez, whose win over the Mexicans in the preliminary round put them as the top seed in the elimination draw, lost to Danny Maggi and Shai Manzuri of Argentina, 9-15, 15-12, 11-4.

Maggi and Manzuri had been fortunate to get by the Maykel Moyet Suarez and Raul Martinez Gutierrez of Cuba earlier in the day, as they needed an 11-10 tie-breaker, winning 11-15, 15-4. 11-10.

Maggi and Manzuri's next opponents will be Jorge Zambana and Ricardo Monroy of Bolivia, who defeated Santiago Canedo and Sebastian Roessler of Chile, 15-9, 15-9.

Finally, no change to World Juniors

Lastly, at the Pan American Racquetball Confederation (PARC) meeting Tuesday it was determined that there isn't a scheduling conflict between any Central American Games and the usual dates of World Junior Racquetball Championships, as had been previously believed. Thus, expect the 2009 World Juniors to be at the usual time this December.

However, The Racquetball Blog notes that the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games, which has racquetball on its sports program, will be in Puerto Rico beginning July 17, 2010 and ending August 1, 2010. As 2010 is a World Championships year, we hope that the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) will take these dates into account in scheduling next year's World Championships in Korea.

Last year's IRF World Championships began on August 1 in Ireland. The same date could made it difficult for players competing in Puerto Rico to make it to Korea.

Pan American Championships
Women's Quarter finals

Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Claudine Garcia (Dominican Republic), 15-6, 15-4
Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (USA) d. Jennifer Saunders (Canada), 15-5, 15-10

Frédérique T. Lambert (Canada) d. Samantha Salas Solis (Mexico), 15-6, 2-15, 11-6
Carola Loma (Bolivia) d. Jenny Daza Navia (Bolivia), 15-6, 15-4

Women's Semi finals

Paola Longoria (Mexico) vs. Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (USA)
Frédérique T. Lambert (Canada) vs. Carola Loma (Bolivia)

Men's Quarter finals

Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) d. Juan Herrera (Colombia), 15-3, 15-8
Andy Hawthorne (USA) d. Vince Gagnon (Canada), 11-15, 15-8, 11-2

Polo Gutierrez (Mexico) d. Felipe Mercado (Bolivia), 15-7, 15-10
Kris Odegard (Canada) d. Chris Crowther (USA), 15-9, 9-15, 11-4

Men's Semi finals

Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) vs. Andy Hawthorne (USA)
Polo Gutierrez (Mexico) vs. Kris Odegard (Canada)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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