February 20 - USA 1, Guatemala 4
USA played at 8:30am against a very experienced Guatemala team. The Guatemala team's backbone is made up of veteran Pedro Yang who has been based in Denmark several years, Kevin Cordon, a young talent discovered in 2003 by BPAC and absorbed into the Road To Beijing Project and Erick Anguiano.
In the first singles Nicholas Jinadasa took to the court against Kevin Cordon. Nicholas played hard and gave Kevin a run for his money but Kevin was one step ahead. Kevin won 21-4, 21-17. Arnold came in as second singles and faced Rodolfo Ramirez. In an exciting 30 minute match, they had the crowd sitting at the edge of their seats with their close rallies and score line. Ramirez came out luckier winning 21-20, 23-21. The third singles was one of the longest match of the Thomas Cup Qualifiers which pitted Sattawat Pongnairat against Guatemala's Eric Anguiano. The match went to three games. Eric won the first 21-19 but Sattawat salvaged the second game winning 21-10. In the rubber, Eric came out more consistent than Sattawat. He won the match and tie for Guatemala 21-19, 10-121, 21-15.
The young USA team was not discouraged even though they had lost the tie. USA proved that they were able to fight on despite the singles set back. In the first doubles, Tangkas (Indonesia) based Daniel Gouw and Arnold Setiadi played a brilliant game against Kevin Cordon/Rodolfo Ramirez but the Guatemalans had the edge. Daniel/Arnold lost 14-21, 15-21. In the final match, Vincent Nguy/Sameera Gunatileka took to the courts to take on the very experienced Pedro Yang/Eric Anguiano pair. Vincent/Sameera produced scintillating display of doubles skills. In the 45 minute entertaining match, USA came out victors, 21-19, 12-21, 21-12.
The young USA team is all set to play host, Peru today at 10:00am Lima time.