Chilean youngsters Monsalve, Pino seek home crowd support

The 19-year-old table tennis players are among those to watch at the 2016 PTT Chile Open. 15 Nov 2016
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Matias Pino of Chile

Chilean table tennis player Matias Pino

ⒸThomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC
By Devon Robertson for the IPC and NPC Chile

Santiago, Chile, will welcome around 48 players from around the South American region, as it prepares to host the 2016 Para Table Tennis (PTT) Chile Open, from Thursday to Saturday (17-19 November). It will be the second event of its kind and the first international competition since the Paralympic Games in September.

Among those to watch is 19-year-old Chilean Tamara Monsalve Leonelli. A rising talent, Monsalve showed potential after taking bronze in the women’s single class 5 at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. The Chile Open would be her first international competition since.

"I want to score points and keep improving,” Monsalve said on the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Chile’s website. “I have not had international competitions during 2016 so I am very expectant. … I want to feel comfortable and play my game, that everything I've trained for will bear fruit.”

"I have trained very well. I am very happy with my national performances. I have had good physical, psychological and nutritional preparations, so I am looking for a good result… I cannot promise the title, but I will give it my best. I will fight to be champion," she said.

Held at the Velodromo de Santiago, the Chile Open will host both singles and team competitions. More than 65 per cent of the competitors come from Chile, with a total of 32 players making up the home delegation.

Another home favourite is Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca. The 19-year-old Santiago native is sure to impress as he is the only male competitor to have competed at Rio 2016. Currently ranked No. 24 in class 6, Pino did not make it out of the earlystages at Rio 2016. He took singles gold at Toronto 2015 and medalled at three other international tournaments this year.

Argentina’s Giselle Munoz is a must-watch in the women’s class 7. The 32-year old is currently ranked No. 8 in her class and is the only female at the Chile Open to have competed at Rio 2016. Although she was unable to make it through the group stage in Rio, Munoz proved her ability in numerous other competitions; including a singles silver at the 2015 Para Pans and a singles bronze at the 2014 World Championships.

Munoz’s compatriot Maria Costanza Garrone is looking to medal in the women’s class 2. The No. 13 ranked player claimed team silver at the 2016 Slovenian Open, and similar at last year’s Copa Chile competition.

Live results from the 2016 PTT Chile Open can be found on the International Para Table Tennis website.