Mexico Defend Team Title
San José Indoor Club, Costa Rica was the host venue for the 2017 Pan Am Championship, and what a Championship it turned out to be! Following an opening ceremony that included the presence of the Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís, athletes competed in three days of round robin pool play before entering the single elimination bracket. The outcome of each match contributed to each country's points toward a men's, women's, and a combined team title.
In 2016, Mexico claimed all four gold medals at the Pan Am Championship thanks to Paola Longoria (singles and doubles), Samantha Salas (doubles), Daniel De La Rosa (singles), and the duo of Javier Moreno and Alejandro Landa (doubles). This year, they took one less gold, but remained the team to beat in Pan America.
Fast forward to 2017 and the team remained the same for the women, with Longoria and Salas both playing singles and doubles. In the men's division, Landa was selected to play both singles and doubles, but on this occasion he was joined by singles national champion Javier Mar and fellow doubles national champion Polo Guitierrez.
Perhaps the match of the tournament was the women's singles final, where American Rhonda Rajsich overcame three-time World Champion Longoria in a nail-biting 11-9 tiebreaker to claim gold. It was a terrific match, and in front of a standing room only crowd, the atmosphere was electric.
Mexico defended their title with three gold medals and a silver for 904 points, and USA followed with one gold and two silvers accruing 668 points. Although Bolivia were in no finals, collectively they captured third with 324 points. Guatemala and Ecuador each had 310 points.
The IRF's reach continues to expand, and record numbers watched the matches online. In total, over 250,000 viewers engaged in content during the week, which far surpasses any previous tournament.
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The next IRF tournament will be the Senior World Championships held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States beginning August 29th. The tournament is open to all players over the age of 35.