WPA World Juniors Championship Underway

The WPA World Juniors Championship has kicked off in Managua, Nicaragua. The CPB (Confederation Panamerica of Billiards) has spent the past year preparing for this competition and their efforts have borne fine fruit. The first day began with a wonderfully elaborate opening ceremony. The players were ushered into the arena by their country, Olympic style. The Nicaraguan Military Band played the Nicaraguan National Anthem to open the games and the players, coaches and tournament officials took an oath of sportsmanship. The entrance to the arena was lined with military personnel to welcome and honor the players and guests. To top it all off, the Honorable Taiwan Ambassador to Nicaragua performed the opening break shot. After the ceremony, it was on to the business of competition as the matches began.

For the young ladies, number 1 seed Brittany Bryant (CAN) stood up to her billing and won her first match against Petra Stadlbauer (AUT) in an effort to defend her title as World Champion. Number 2 seed Liz Lovely (USA) also performed as expected and found success in her first match against Ana F. Guevara (NIC). Seeds 3 and 4 (Jaynes Nicole (USA) and Kamila Khodejeva (BEL) also were victorious in their matches. The first upset of the day was when #5 seed Javiera Rivera (NCA) fell to Anja Wagner (GER).

Number six-ranked Keng-Chun Lin (TPE) narrowly escaped Briana Miler (USA) while Konishi Samia (JPN) slipped by number 7 seed Karen Garcia (NCA) in a hill-hill thriller. Finally, Amerindia Tablada (NCA) stayed on the high road by taking down Elena Catalan of Guatemala.  

The young men took the stage next. Number 1 seed Ogawa Norio (JPN) bested Carlos Nurindia (NIC) and Phil Burford (GBR)won over Nick Pera (NZL). This set up a second-round match between Nurindia and Pera that ended the tournament for Pera as Nurindia won the contest.  

Nick Tafoya (USA) won out over Daniel Laszlo (HUN) and Jhon Telleria (NIC) beat Alex Hernandez (GUA) to set up another death match between Lazlo and Hernandez that found Lazlo surviving to play on day two.  One of the day's big upsets came next when number 5 seed Ikhwan Sandaja Edward (IDN) fell to number  28 Marcos J. Garcia (NIC). Then, when Skyler Woodward (USA) defeated Peter Robertson (RSA) it sent Robertson and Edward into a do or die match which Edward won convincingly .

Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS), who has seasoned himself by playing in open professional events, cruised by his first-round opponent, Ryner Monje (CRC) while Christopher Tevez (PER) had a more narrow victory over Jesse Engel (USA) to develop the elimination match between Engel and Ryner that Engel won. Numer 3 seed Jorge D. Rivera performed as expected in his victory over Ryan Spence (CAN) and Stefan Nolle (GER) defeated Luis Arias (PER). We should have the result of the match between Spence and Arias later today.

Cheng-Shieh Liu (TPE) won over Landon Shuffet (USA) and Maximilian Lechner (AUT) defeated Alfred Wiles Harry (RSA) which placed Wiles and Shuffet in an elimination round in which Shuffet prevailed. McEarl Bucais (CAN) took down Aoki Satoshi (JPN)  and Brendan Crockett (USA) won out over Jose Moncada (HON) and this led to the critical match between Satoshi and Monacada that found Satoshi in a dominant win.  

Finally, Ivar Saris (NED) beat Israel Rivas (NIC) and Kuei-Min Lin (TPE) bested Manuel (NIC) to create the elimination round between Flores and Rivas that Flores survived. Play continues today in Managua and we will keep you up-to-date with all of the results.