Monday, December 6, 2021

Mexico win three of four titles at 2021 IRF World Championships

Mexico won three of the four championships Monday at the 20th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala, led by Paola Longoria, who won both Women’s Singles and Doubles, and in doing so she has become the winningest player in World Championships history. Longoria now has eight titles - four each in singles and doubles, which is one more than American Jackie Paraiso, who won seven in Women's Doubles titles. This was the third time Longoria has won both singles and doubles in the same year at Worlds, having previously done it in 2012 and 2014. No one else has won both in the same year.

Longoria beat American Kelani Lawrence in the Women’s Singles final, 15-6, 15-1, and then she teamed up with long time partner Samantha Salas to win Women’s Doubles. They defeated Americans Erika Manilla and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-14, 15-6. The win was Salas’s fourth World Championship, which have all come in Women’s Doubles with Longoria.

Mexico also won Men’s Doubles, as Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya defeated Bolivians Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller in the final, 15-10, 15-9. It’s Mexico’s eighth Men’s Doubles World Championship title, but the first one for Mar and Montoya. However, it’s Montoya’s second World Championship, as he won Men’s Singles three years ago. Montoya is the fourth player to win both singles and doubles at Worlds, joining American Todd O’Neill, and Mexicans Alvaro Beltran and Longoria.

American Alejandro Landa won Men’s Singles Monday, as he defeated Costa Rican Andres Acuña in the final, 15-6, 15-6. Landa was born in Mexico, so in one sense Mexico did sweep the fourth championships. He has played for Mexico in the past, including at the 2010 World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, where he earned a bronze medal in Men’s Doubles.

However, Landa was not selected for Team Mexico for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, even though he qualified to go. He was so angry with being passed over that Landa switched countries, choosing instead to compete for the USA, as he moved to the US as a teenager. Landa is the eighth American man to win Men’s Singles at Worlds.

The overall sense of the four finals is that none of them was very interesting, in the sense that they were all won in two straight games. Also, of those eight finals games, only two were within five points.

In the Women’s Doubles final, Mexico was up 10-0 and 14-8 in game one, only to have to stave off a USA comeback and hang on a win it by one, 15-14. But no other game was that close.

In game two of the Men’s Doubles final, it looked like Bolivia might force a breaker, as they were up 9-5 on Bolivia. Yet they failed to score another point, as Mexico came back with ten unanswered points to win it 15-9 and take the match in two straight games.

Monday’s finals were live streamed from Guatemala. Check with the IRF on Facebook to see replays of the finals. The live stream folks are staying in Guatemala through the week to stream World Junior Championship matches. Check the IRF Facebook page for the stream schedule.

20th IRF World Championships
November 29-December 6 - Guatemala City, Guatemala

Men's Singles Final - Monday

Alejandro Landa (USA) d. Andres Acuña (Costa Rica), 15-6, 15-6

Women's Singles Final - Monday

Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Kelani Lawrence (USA), 15-6, 15-1

Men's Doubles Final - Monday

Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia), 15-10, 15-9

Women's Doubles Final - Monday

Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-14, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball....

No comments: