Saturday, August 10, 2019

Team finals at the 2019 Pan American Games

Mexico won a 3rd consecutive Women’s Team gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Saturday, as they defeated Argentina in two straight matches. Bolivia won the Men's Team final two matches to one against Colombia to capture the country’s first gold medal in racquetball at the Pan Am Games. Despite the loss, Colombia’s silver medal is their first in racquetball at the Pan Am Games.

In the Women’s Team final, Paola Longoria beat Maria José Vargas, 15-4, 15-11. After a dominant first game, Longoria was down in the second, as Vargas led 9-5 and 11-6. However, Longoria - the gold medal winner in both Women’s Singles and Doubles earlier this week - came back to tie the game at 11-11, and then went on to win it 15-11, and give Mexico the first match of the final.

In the second match, Montserrat Mejia defeated Natalia Mendez, 15-12 15-10. Mendez led in the middle of game one at 7-5 and 9-7, but Mejia tied the game at 10-10 and 11-11. She then took the lead 13-11, and got to match point at 14-12. Mejia then won it 15-12.

Mejia carried that momentum into game two, as she took a 7-1 lead. But Mendez slowly worked her way back into the game, and tied the score at 10-10. But her points ran out there, as Mejia got the last five points to end the game, 15-10, the match 2-0, and the final two matches to none.

As Mexico won both singles matches, the doubles match with Longoria and Samantha Salas versus Mendez and Vargas didn’t have to be played. Longoria and Salas were the two players to win Women’s Team gold for Mexico at the last two Pan Am Games: in Toronto four years ago, and Guadalajara eight years ago. Mejia, playing in her first Pan Am Games, goes home with her first medal, and it’s gold.

The Men’s Team final came down to a deciding 3rd match, which was doubles, as they split the two singles matches. In doubles, Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller beat Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-2. The Bolivians had a lead in game one at 8-4, but Colombia came back to tie it 10-10. However, from that point on Bolivia outscored Colombia 20-3, as they closed out the first game and ran away with the second. A 9-0 lead in game two put the writing on the wall.

In the first match of the final, Moscoso beat Sebastian Franco, 15-12, 15-8. Franco actually led in game one, 5-1, but Moscoso tied the game 6-6. Franco again went ahead, 9-6, only to see Moscoso tie it again at 11-11 and 12-12, as he went on to win 15-12. Moscoso took a 7-1 lead in game two, and maintained a lead throughout the game.

That put Mercado in a must win situation against Carlos Keller in the second match of the final. Keller took the first game, 15-10, to add to the pressure on Mercado. He responded by winning game two going away, 15-3, in only 14 min, which was less than half the time it took to play the first game (31 min). Thus, Mercado forced a tie-breaking third game.

In the breaker, although they were close all the way. Keller had the lead for most of the game, but never by more than two points. Then Mercado caught up at 9-9, and he managed to close it out, 11-9, to win the match, 10-15, 15-3, 11-9, and force the tie-breaking doubles match.

Looking ahead, the next Pan American Games will be in Santiago, Chile in 2023. We fully expect that racquetball will be included in the program.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru


Men’s Team - Final


Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia), 15-12, 15-8
Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Carlos KELLER (Bolivia), 10-15, 15-3, 11-9
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-11, 15-2

Women’s Team - Final


Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. Maria José VARGAS (Argentina), 15-4, 15-11
Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) d. Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina), 15-12, 15-10
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) v. Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - not played

Follow the bouncing ball….

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