Thursday, March 30, 2023

2023 Pan American Championships - Preview

The 2023 Pan American Racquetball Championships begin Saturday in Guatemala City, so it’s a good time to look back on what happened last year in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and ahead to what we could expect this year.

Last’s years champions were all first time winners in their respective divisions. Bolivians swept singles for the first time with Conrrado Moscoso winning the men’s title and Angelica Barrios winning the women’s title. In doubles, Canadians Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray won Men's Doubles with Argentina’s Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas winning Women’s Doubles. Mixed Doubles was a first time time event at last year’s Pan Am Championships, and Mexicans Rodrigo Montoya and Samantha Salas took the title.

We expect all of those players to be in Guatemala to defend their titles. Some of the line ups are uncertain at this point. But we know that Team USA has six players: Jake and Sam Bredenbeck as well as Thomas Carter on the men’s side, with Erika Manilla, Michelle De La Rosa, and Rhonda Rajsich on the women’s side. Also, Team Canada will be Iwaasa, Murray and Trevor Webb, as well as Michèle Morissette, Juliette Parent and Danielle Ramsay.

This event is the qualifying event for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile this October. How many players countries can send to Chile will depend on how well they do in Guatemala. To that end, there will not be a team event this year, as players will play down for all the positions. That is, losing in the medal round does not end a player’s tournament, as there will be a 3rd place match, as well as matches for 5th to 8th, 9th to 16th, etc.

Note, both semi-finalists will be bronze medalists, but for the purposes of Pan Am Games qualification, a “3rd place” match will be played. Similarly for those who lose in the quarterfinals, and Round of 16.

The tournament will begin with three days of group play beginning Saturday. Those results will lead to seeding for the medal round that will begin on Tuesday. For draws, look to the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) website. Also, some of the matches will be streamed. We’re not sure when the streaming will begin, but check out the IRF Facebook page or the IRF YouTube channel for matches.

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

Women's Singles

Gold - Angelica Barrios (Bolivia)
Silver -  María José Vargas (Argentina)
Bronze - Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala), Carla Muñoz (Chile)

Men's Singles

Gold - Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
Silver -  Andres Acuña (Costa Rica)
Bronze - Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico), Alejandro Landa (USA)

Women's Doubles

Gold - Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) 
Silver - Alejandra Herrera & Samantha Salas (Mexico)
Bronze - Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich (USA), Micaela Meneses & Yazmine Sabja  (Bolivia)

Men's Doubles

Gold - Coby Iwaasa & Samuel Murray (Canada)
Silver - Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador)
Bronze - Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck (USA), Andres Acuña & Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica)

Mixed Doubles

Gold - Rodrigo Montoya & Samantha Salas (Mexico) 
Silver - Micaela Meneses & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
Bronze - Alejandro Landa & Erika Manilla (USA), Valeria Centellas & Diego Garcia (Argentina)

Women’s Team

Gold - Argentina
Silver - Mexico
Bronze - USA, Bolivia

Men’s Team

Gold - Bolivia
Silver - Mexico
Bronze - Costa Rica, USA

Follow the bouncing ball….

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