Saturday, October 19, 2013

25th IRF World Junior Championships - PREVIEW

The 25th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships begins Sunday in Sucre, Bolivia. This is the second time the competition has been in Bolivia. The first was in 2009 in Cochabamba. Fourteen countries will be represented in Sucre, although none from outside the Americas.

Bolivia is coming off its best ever results at last year's Junior Worlds in Canoga Park, California, finishing with 10 medals (4 gold, 4 silver & 2 bronze) to top the overall team competition. Playing on home soil - and at high altitude - the host nation will be looking to have another banner year.

However, they will be without Maria Jose Vargas, who was a double gold medalist last year in U18 singles and doubles, as she's graduated from juniors, and is doing well on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), where she's 6th in the latest rankings.

But Natalia Mendez, who was a double medalist last year for Bolivia with gold in U16 and silver in U14 - should be back and a definite medal threat.

The USA is without most of their gold medalists from a year ago, as Marco Rojas and Jose Diaz have also graduated from the junior ranks. They won gold in U18 doubles in Canoga Park and were the finalists in U18 singles with Rojas winning. Further, one of their gold medal U14 Boy's doubles team - Jordan Barth - is also absent, although his partner Justus Benson is there.

The USA is without Kelani Bailey, who was a double bronze medalist in U18 last year and would have been a definite threat to podium again in this her last year of junior eligibility, but rumor is that she's absent for family reasons.

Canada's double medalist of a year ago - Coby Iwaasa, who won gold in Boy's U16 and silver in U16 doubles, is back to defend his singles title and he won't face two of the other medalists from last year. Adam Manilla of the USA is playing U18 and the silver medalist Andreas Acuña of Costa Rica is absent due to injury.

Other highlights from last year were the good showings of Guatemala and Costa Rica, who both had gold medalists for the first time ever. They'll be looking to follow up those results with good performances in Sucre.

The facility in Sucre looks great. There are 14 courts that are all glass back walls with two that are glass on one side also. us, it should be a wide open and exciting week of racquetball coming up. The IRF will be streaming matches on the last few days of the competition, although if you are in Bolivia, you can watch several hours a day of the competition on live TV.

24th IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
Canoga Park, California - November 2012


Boy's U18

GOLD Marco Rojas (USA)
SILVER Jose Diaz (USA)
BRONZE Salvador Ortiz (Mexico)
BRONZE Sebastian Franco (Colombia)

Boy's U16

GOLD Coby Iwaasa (Canada)
SILVER Andreas Acuña (Costa Rica)
BRONZE Adam Manilla (USA)
BRONZE Erik Garcia (Mexico)

Boy's U14

SILVER Cristhian Mina (Bolivia)
SILVER Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia)
BRONZE Jose Ubilla (Costa Rica)
BRONZE Alejandro Almada Felix (Mexico)

Girl's U18

GOLD Maria Jose Vargas (Bolivia)
SILVER Adriana Riveros (Bolivia)
BRONZE Aisling Hickey (Ireland)
BRONZE Kelani Bailey (USA)

Girl's U16

GOLD Natalia Mendez (Bolivia)
SILVER Ximena Gonzalez (Mexico)
BRONZE Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala)
BRONZE Michèle Morissette (Canada)

Girl's U14

GOLD Diana Aguilar (Mexico)
SILVER Natalia Mendez (Bolivia)
BRONZE Erika Manilla (USA)
BRONZE Melania Sauma (Costa Rica)


Boy's U18

GOLD Jose Diaz & Marco Rojas (USA)
SILVER Danilo Torrico & Vladimir Sona (Bolivia)
BRONZE Salvador Ortiz & Missael Leija (Mexico)
BRONZE Ashton Duda & Samuel Murray (Canada)

Boy's U16

GOLD Rodrigo Montoya & Francisco Javier Mar Garcia (Mexico)
SILVER Coby Iwaasa & Sami Harb (Canada)
BRONZE Andres Acuña & Pablo Sauma (Costa Rica)
BRONZE Adam Manilla & Sawyer Lloyd (USA)

Boy's U14

GOLD Jordan Barth & Justus Benson (USA)
SILVER Jose Ubila & Alexander Pirie (Costa Rica)
BRONZE Victor Camacho & Jordy Alonso (Mexico)
BRONZE Rodrigo Mendoza & Gonzalo Paco (Bolivia)

Girl's U18

GOLD Adriana Riveros & Maria Jose Vargas (Bolivia)
SILVER Alexandra Herrera & Natalia Villagomez (Mexico)
BRONZE Kelani Bailey & Samantha Simmons (USA)
BRONZE Aisling Hickey & Katie Kenny (Ireland)

Girl's U16

GOLD Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala)
SILVER Ximena Gonzalez & Lucia Gonzalez (Mexico)
BRONZE Kaitlin Simmons & Lexi York (USA)
BRONZE Veronica Dotty & Mariana Lopez (Bolivia)

Girl's U14

GOLD Melania Sauma & Sofia Soley (Costa Rica)
SILVER Diana Aguilar & Mariel Morales (Mexico)
BRONZE Jordan Cooperrider & Erika Manilla (USA)
BRONZE Callie Drury & Alexis Iwaasa (Canada)



USA - 6 = 3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze
Mexico - 6 = 1, 0, 5
Bolivia - 4 = 1, 2, 1
Costa Rica - 4 = 0, 2, 2
Canada - 3 = 1, 1, 1
Colombia - 1 = 0, 0, 1


Bolivia - 6 = 3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
Mexico - 5 = 1, 3, 1
USA - 5 = 0, 1, 4
Guatemala - 2 = 1, 0, 1
Costa Rica - 2 = 1, 0, 1
Canada - 2 = 0, 0, 2
Ireland - 2 = 0, 0, 2


USA - 11 = 3 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze
Mexico - 11 = 2, 3, 6
Bolivia - 10 = 4, 4, 2
Costa Rica - 6 = 1, 2, 3
Canada - 5 = 1, 1, 3
Guatemala - 2 = 1, 0, 1
Ireland - 2 = 0, 0, 2
Colombia - 1 = 0, 0, 1

Follow the bouncing ball....

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