Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Pan American Championships - Preliminary Round Ends

It's been a tough day for Columbian men at the 23rd Pan American Championships in San Pedro Sula, Honduras as both Andres Herrera and Franciso Gomez lost their last preliminary round matches in tie-breakers.

Herrera, ranked 23rd on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), lost to Carlos Keller Vargas of Bolivia, 10-15, 15-11, 11-6. Keller Vargas is the current World Junior Champion in Boys 16 and under. Costa Rican Felipe Camacho defeated Gomez 9-15, 15-1, 11-10.

The rest of the men's results on Monday were as expected, but Canadian Kris Odegard did need a tie-breaker to defeat Cesar Castro of Venezuela, winning 13-15, 15-12, 11-0. Hie team-mate Vincent Gagnon won in straight games against Ivan Villegas of Costa Rica, 15-5, 15-1.

Both Mexican men also won, but like Odegard, Gil De Los Rios needed a third game before warding off Osvaldo Garcia of Puerto Rico, 15-3, 12-15, 11-3. Polo Gutierrez defeated Jose Daniel Alvarez in two straight, 15-10, 15-9.

One minor surprise on the women's side as Claudine Garcia of the Dominican Republic defeated Bolivian Jenny Daza Navia, 13-15, 15-12, 11-4. Daza Navia is a strong young player, and Garcia hasn't played in an international event in some time. But Garcia was 7th on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) tour at the end of the 2001-02 season.

In other women's action of note Paola Longoria (Mexico) soundly defeated Maria Paz Munoz of Ecuador, 15-3, 15-3. And in an upset by the WPRO rankings, Canadian Brandi Jacobson Prentice defeated Columbian Cristina Amaya, 15-9, 15-14. Jacobson Prentice is ranked 29th on the WPRO while Amaya is 18th.

Finally, current Canadian Champion Jennifer Saunders won her last match, defeating Carolina Gomez (Columbia), 15-10, 15-5.

The preliminary round concludes Monday with Tuesday being a day off prior to the beginning of the elimination round on Wednesday. That round continues through Saturday.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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