Saturday, November 17, 2012

IRF World Junior Champions - Boy's Semi-finals

After Friday's boy's semi-finals at the 24th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in Canoga Park, California, it was clear that there would be one American gold medalist and one Bolivian gold medalist and a medalist from neither of those two countries. And that third gold isn't going to a Mexican, which could be the first time in several years that a Mexican boy has not won gold at World Juniors (at least one Mexican boy won gold in the past four World Juniors).

The Boy's U18 semi-finals had two upsets by the rankings, but that's the only way they were upsets as the two players most - including The Racquetball Blog - would have picked to be in the final will be in the final, as it's going to be an All-American showdown between Jose Diaz and Marco Rojas.

A Diaz-Rojas final is a bit of history repeating, as four years ago they met in the U14 final with Diaz winning. Then two years ago they met in the U16 final, when Rojas won. Saturday will be the rubber match in what will be their final match as juniors.

In Friday's semi-finals, Diaz defeated Sebastian Franco (Colombia), 15-7, 15-8, while Rojas beat Salvador Ortiz (Mexico), 15-8, 15-4.

In Boy's U16, the top two seeds are in the final, but they took different routes to getting there from the semis. Top seed Coby Iwaasa of Canada got by American Adam Manilla by injury default after Manilla was hurt when he held an 11-10 lead in the semis.

On other hand 2nd seed Andreas Acuña of Costa Rica narrowly defeated Erik Garcia (Mexico), 15-7, 7-15, 11-10.

One upset in Boy's U14, and it was the #1 seed who went out, as 9th seed Jose Ubilla of Costa Rica defeated #1 seed Jordy Alonso of Mexico, 12-15, 15-13, 11-8. Ubilla will play 4th seed Bolivian Cristhian Mina in the semi-finals, as Mina beat 5th seed John De Michele of Canada, 15-5, 15-7.

On the other side, it'll be 2nd seed Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia) versus 3rd seed Alejandro Almada Felix (Mexico) on Friday, as Paco beat 10th seed Alejandro Santos (Venezuela), 15-7, 15-3, and Felix defeated 6th Jordan Barth (USA), 15-12, 15-14.

Finally, there will be an all-Bolivia in Boy's U14, as Cristhian Mina defeated Jose Ubilla (Costa Rica), 15-9, 15-8, and Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia) beat Alejandro Almade Felix of Mexico, 15-9, 7-15, 11-8.

The elimination round continues Thursday with the quarter finals leading up to the finals on Saturday. There is live streaming of some of the matches from California via the IRF website.

24th IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
Canoga Park, California

Boy's U18 - Semi-finals

4. Marco Rojas (USA) d. 1. Salvador Ortiz (Mexico), 15-8, 15-4
6. Jose Diaz (USA) d. 2. Sebastian Franco (Colombia), 15-7, 15-8

Boy's U18 - Final

4. Marco Rojas (USA) v. 6. Jose Diaz (USA)

Boy's U16 - Semi-finals

1. Coby Iwaasa (Canada) d. 5. Adam Manilla (USA), 10-11, injury forfeit
2. Andreas Acuña (Costa Rica) d. 3. Erik Garcia (Mexico), 15-7, 7-15, 11-10

Boy's U16 - Final

1. Coby Iwaasa (Canada) v. 2. Andreas Acuña (Costa Rica)

Boy's U14 - Semi-finals

4. Cristhian Mina (Bolivia) d. 9. Jose Ubilla (Costa Rica), 15-9, 15-5
2. Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia) d. 3. Alejandro Almada Felix (Mexico), 15-9, 7-15, 11-8

Boy's U14 - Final

4. Cristhian Mina (Bolivia) v. 2. Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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