USA Guaranteed Medals After Day One of 2019 Pan Am Games

By Matt Hetherington | Aug. 04, 2019, 10:15 p.m. (ET)


The first day of the Pan American Games Table Tennis Event in Lima, Peru, has concluded. Doubles was the first item on the agenda with one USA pairing in each of the events on offer. Lima 2019 is the first time doubles has been played at the Pan Am Games since 2003, increasing the premier competition from 4 events to 7 events - and presenting more medal opportunities for a success-hungry US team. The last time all 7 events were hosted was 1995.

Here are the results from Day 1 of the Pan Am Games for the US Table Tennis Team:

Day 1 Results:

Men's Doubles 1/8
Tio/Kumar (USA) 4-3 Mino/Riofio (ECU)

A big fight from Kumar and Tio saw them take a 2-0 lead in the match before the Ecuadorians fought back to level at 2-2 in the best of 7 match. Everything was on the line for the young Americans, making their first appearance at the Pan Am Games in Lima. The two showed the wealth of experience they have already gained from competing at 3 World Table Tennis Championships each, clawing the 5th game and finally in the 7th game, holding their nerve to close out the match in deuce and advance to the quarterfinal.

Mixed Doubles Quarterfinal
Wu/Jha (USA) 4-2 Ortiz/Wu (DOM)

A difficult opposition for the American duo, with former Chinese National Team player Wu Jiaji now representing the Dominican Republic. Wu won the team event at the 2010 World Championships with China. Ortiz complemented him well, a regular here in the USA at competitions on the east coast. The two presented a good challenge for the pairing of Jha and Wu, taking the first game before the American pair took the next three games. The Dominican opposition made a last ditch effort as they trailed 3-1 and were able to steal away the 5th game 13-11, before Jha and Wu ended their hopes in the 6th. A medal guaranteed for the USA as our Mixed Doubles team advance into the semifinal.

Women's Doubles Quarterfinal
Zhang/Wu (USA) 4-0 Barcenas/Silva (MEX)

Close games but a definitive match result in the Women's Doubles for 2017 World Championship quarterfinalists Lily Zhang and Wu Yue. Experience under pressure was key in this quarterfinal as the Mexican team of Barcenas and Silva laid on the pressure. Each of the four games went past 10-10 and saw the two full-time professionals from the United States digging deep and bringing out their best in the crucial points. The quarterfinal win guarantees a medal as they advance into tomorrow's semifinal.

Men's Doubles Quarterfinal
Alto/Cifuentes (ARG) 4-2 Tio/Kumar (USA)

A challenging match with another medal on the line, USA's Nick Tio and Nikhil Kumar came up against Argentina. Alto and Cifuentes proved a strong doubles combination. The first game was tight, but the Argentinians set the pace with a 14-12 win. They moved quickly to secure a 3-0 lead in the match before Tio and Kumar knuckled down to launch a comeback. It was an impressive effort by the two as they held of their opponents to take game four and then saved two match points in the 5th to trail 3-2. Game six however, Alto and Cifuentes made their intentions clear and forced out the US pair, 4-2 the final score and for Tio and Kumar the Men's Doubles campaign was over. 

You can find information on Day 2 Schedule on the US Team's Pan Am Games Homepage.