TUC PANAMERICA

As expected, Canada and USA dominated the Thomas and Uber Cups continental Group A finals which were held at Campinas in Brazil last weekend. The Canadians will be sending their […]

ImageAs expected, Canada and USA dominated the continental Group A finals which were held at Campinas in Brazil last weekend. The Canadians will be sending their masculine squad to the finals in Indonesia next May whilst the USA will be sending their female representatives.

Yves Lacroix. Photos : Y. Lacroix, Badmintonphoto.com

The four strongest countries on the continent – namely Canada, USA, Brazil and Peru – were on show in Campinas – a city of one million near Sao Paulo – to earn the only spot available in the much-awaited finals to be held in Jakarta in May.

As expected, the first day round-robin stage of the tournament was to be a one-way affair between the North American countries of Canada and USA against weaker Brazil and Peru. Never did the South Americans managed to clinch more than one match out of five against their opponents except for the Thomas Cup confrontation between the USA and Peru where the South Americans got very close to defeating the Americans. In the men’s singles, Peruvians Andres Corpancho and Rodrigo Pacheco respectively dispatched Raju Rai and Bob Malaythong whilst American shuttler Arnold Setiada almost lost his third single against Bruno Monteverde in a long three-set thriller. The Americans showed some great relief when they finally got on top 3-2 thanks to both of their wins in the men’s doubles event.

On the second day of the preliminary rounds, Canada showed great strength with their 4-1 Thomas Cup win against the Americans. Singles shuttlers Dabeka, Milroy and Wojcikiewicz never took more than 30 minutes to dispatch their opponents and Beres and Milroy did the same in men’s doubles against Howard Bach and Daniel Gouw. Only Raju Rai and Christopher Hales managed to give their country a win in the second men’s doubles match of the day.

In the other Thomas Cup encounter of the day, Brazil had to work hard to overcome Peru 3-2. Brazilians Guilherme Pardo and Paulo Von Scala managed to erase their losses in the men’s singles event with two victories in doubles. Lucas Araujo was the hero of the day with two wins, including his decisive third single victory against Peruvian Bruno Monteverde.

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In the Uber Cup, Peru easily whitewashed Brazil 5-0. The Brazilians were not able to clinch a single set or to last for more than 25 minutes in all five matches. A much tighter affair was to be expected between traditional rival countries Canada and the USA and rightfully so as the Canadian female team prevailed 3-2 against their republican neighbours.

Usual finals

The scene was set for Monday’s finals to determine not only which team would be flying to Jakarta in May but also for third and fourth places.

In the Thomas Cup, Andres Corpancho and Rodrigo Pacheco of Peru were the stars of the third place battle against Brazil. Both men started off with convincing wins in their singles and later matched up for another victory in men’s doubles to give their country a 3-1 win to confirm their third place rank.

With a 3-0 win in the final against the USA, Canada showed they were ready for the action awaiting them in Jakarta. Andrew Dabeka (photo) of Canada had a rather hard time getting rid of American Raju Rai in his first singles, having to take three sets and one hour to give Canada a 1-0 lead. In the second singles, Bobby Milroy destroyed opponent Setiada 21-8, 21-8 in just 21 minutes. In what was to be the last match of the final, men’s doubles 2005 world champion Howard Bach couldn’t save the American ship from drowning, losing 14-21, 18-21 against Stephan Wojcikiewicz.

ImageFemale Peruvian shuttlers had no problem repeating the exploits of their masculine team, clinching a third place finish in the Uber Cup. With two victories, experienced Claudia Rivero (photo on top) was instrumental in Peru’s 3-1 win over Brazil.

In the Uber Cup final, Canada was not able to repeat the previous day’s scenario and went down 3-1 to the Americans. The latter aligned a much stronger team particularly due to the presence of Eva Lee in both singles and doubles. The 2006 Canadian Open winner got the better of Charmaine Reid in the first singles, 21-15, 21-10. In the second singles, Québec-based Florence Lavoie was once again up against American Lauren Todt. The French Canadian had a much tougher time than on the previous day but succeeded in giving Canada’s first and only victory with a 20-22, 21-10, 21-18.

In the third singles, Canadian Michelle Li went down to Jamie Subandhi 21-23, 13-21. Eva Lee (photo) and Charmaine Reid were again back on court with their respective partners for the first doubles match. Lee and partner Mangkalakiri forever crushed Canada’s hopes with an easy 21-8, 21-15 win against Reid and Valerie Loker.

The 2008 finals will be a reversal of 2004 (also held in Jakarta) as the continental representatives for the men will be Canada and USA for the women.

For complete results click HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.