Sunday, February 25, 2018

Another bronze for Guzman

SOLANGE GUZMAN was forced to settle for the bronze medal for the second time in four days in the Dominican Republic.

The Cuban, who has been residing here for over three years and is in the process of becoming a Trinidad and Tobago citizen, was beaten in the semi-finals of the Santo Domingo Open Badminton Championships yesterday after falling at the same stage in the Pan American Championships last Saturday.

Guzman lost 21-18, 21-10 to American Iris Wang, but had another opportunity to make a final last night when she and Virginia Chariandy Balwant opposed the top seeds from Brazil in doubles after press time.

The pair, beaten in the first round of “Pan Am” by the No. 2 seeds, was assured of collecting a medal on Tuesday when they brushed aside Arysleyda Frias and Daymelin Pereira of Dominican Republic 21-8, 21-13 in the quarter-finals.

Guzman and Balwant, gold medallists in doubles in the Venezuela Open and silver medallists in the Caribbean Championships last year, had crushed Florencia Bernatene and Daiana Garmendia of Guatemala 21-7, 21-5 in the first round.

Balwant, one of T&T and the region’s most dominant players of late 1970s and 80s who continues to be a threat at age 51, lost 21-17, 21-17 to Pereira in the first round in singles.

After receiving a first-round bye, Guzman, who beat two seeded players and did not drop a set from three matches before she went out to the top seed in the “Pan Am” semis, went roll again.

The two-time defending Venezuela Open singles champ halted Cuban Tahimara Oropeza 21-16, 21-11 and then assured herself a medal when she came from behind to defeat Vibieca Beronica 10-21, 24-22, 21-11 in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.

The player from the Dominican Republic was the No. 2 seed, but the victory was not really considered an upset as Guzman had beaten a then No. 4 seed Beronica in straight sets in the “Pan Am” quarters last Friday.