Thursday, April 14, 2022

Argentina, Bolivia (twice), Canada & Mexico are Pan American Champions

Bolivia swept gold in Men’s and Women’s Singles at the 2022 Pan American Racquetball Championships in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Angelica Barrios won Women’s Singles by coming back from two games down against top seed and former Pan Am Champion María José Vargas of Argentina, winning in five games 14-15, 10-15, 15-10, 15-14, 12-10. Barrios was playing in her 1st international final, and her 1st medal is gold.

In the men’s final, Conrrado Moscoso defeated Costa Rican Andres Acuña, 15-14, 14-15, 15-6, 15-13, to win his first Pan American Championship in singles, but his second overall, as he and Roland Keller won Men’s Doubles in 2019. Bolivia has now won Men’s Singles at Pan Am Championships for three years running - the third country to do so (after the USA and Mexico).

In Women’s Doubles, the 2nd seeded Argentine team of Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas won their 1st Pan American Championship in doubles - and first for Argentina overall and, indeed, for a South American country, as they defeated the #1 seeded team of Alejandra Herrera and Samantha Salas of Mexico, 15-14, 14-15, 15-10, 8-15, 11-8. It was a cagey match with many ceiling ball exchanges.

But down the stretch of game five it was Vargas who was hitting the winning shots. With Mexico leading 6-4, a Salas shot was called a skip. She appealed it, but the line judges upheld the call. From 6-5, Vargas hit winners for all six of Argentina’s points, the most spectacular of which was a backhand off a dive to the left wall that just made the front wall. A “you know things are going your way when” kind of shot. She ended the game and match with a forehand kill shot to the right side from the front court.

The gold is Vargas’s 2nd at the Pan Am Championships, as she was the Women’s Singles champion back in 2014, and Mendez’s first gold at Pan Ams.

Canadians Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray, the 4th seeds, came back from a game down to defeat 3rd seeds Juan Francisco Cueva and Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador, in five games, 10-15, 15-13, 15-5, 11-15, 11-5, and win the Men’s Doubles title. It’s the first gold at an international event for both Iwaasa and Murray, and the first for Canada in Men’s Doubles at the Pan Am Championships since 2010, when Mike Green and Tim Landeryou won. Ecuador is still seeking its first Pan Am Championship gold medal.

Rodrigo Montoya and Samantha Salas of Mexico won the Mixed Doubles final, beating Boliviaians Micaela Meneses and Conrrado Moscoso, 15-12, 15-7, 14-15, 15-12.

If you want to watch the finals - and you should definitely check out the Women’s Singles final - they are available via the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Facebook page and the IRF YouTube channel.

XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia - April 9-16, 2022

Women's Singles - Final - Thursday

10) Angelica Barrios (Bolivia) d. 1) María José Vargas (Argentina), 14-15, 10-15, 15-10, 15-14, 12-10

Men's Singles -

Final - Thursday

1) Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 11) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica), 15-14, 14-15, 15-6, 15-13

Women's Doubles - Final - Thursday

2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) d. 1) Alejandra Herrera & Samantha Salas (Mexico), 15-14, 14-15, 15-10, 8-15, 11-8

Men's Doubles - Final - Thursday

4) Coby Iwaasa & Samuel Murray (Canada) d. 3) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador), 10-15, 15-13, 15-5, 11-15, 11-5

Mixed Doubles - Final - Thursday

6) Rodrigo Montoya & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 1) Micaela Meneses & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia), 15-12, 15-7, 14-15, 15-12

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: