The top athletes in the region are ready to take on the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para Table Tennis America Regional Championships from Friday (24 November) in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Argentina’s Giselle Munoz is among the ones to watch in the women’s single class 6-7. The three-time winner will look to regain her title after falling to Canada’s Stephanie Chan, who won at the 2015 edition in front of a home crowd.
Brazil’s Catia Christina da Silva Oliveira is the favourite to win a second successive Americas gold medal in the women’s single class 2. However there is still tough competition for the title in her Argentinian rival Maria Costanza Garrone and 2015 finalist Alma Rosa Padilla Rodriguez of Mexico.
In the men’s single class 1, Argentina’s Fernando Emanuel Eberhardt enters top of the rankings and looks to regain his gold medal from 2013 from Brazil’s reigning champion Aloisio Lima Junior.
The men’s single class 2 could be an all-Brazilian showdown; five-time champion Iranildo Conceicao Espindola could face Paralympic bronze medallist Guilherme Marcio da Costa, who is also no stranger to Americas gold.
Brazil’s three-time team winner Alexandre Macieira Ank has the chance to seize a first individual crown after having to settle for bronze in 2015. He boasts a perfect winning record against his closest challenger in Chile’s Cristian Ivan Gonzalez Astete, who himself has yet to win a major medal.
A taste of the future could also be in store for the men’s single class 6 contest with the USA’s 16-year-old Ian Philip Seidenfeld favoured to snatch his first major title from current holder Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca from Chile.
Chile have a host of teenagers looking to build on their performances at the 2017 Youth Parapan American Games. Nineteen-year-old Manuel Felipe Echaveguren Farias has the chance to kick on from this year’s silver medal at the Youth Parapans in class 9. In class 10, 18-year-old Alvaro Hernan Vega Gutierrez enters as the Youth Parapan champion and the second ranked in the tournament. However, still standing tall above all others is Brazil’s Claudio Massad, who enters as the favourite to win his first continental singles gold to add to his team one from 2015.
Around 140 athletes are expected to compete at the 2017 ITTF PTT America Regional Championships, which runs until 4 December.