Canada’s MacNeil and Richards clinch spot to Nanjing
FAJARDO, Puerto Rico, December 8, 2013 – Canada’s Jake MacNeil
and Andrew Richards sealed their spot in the Youth Olympic Games
in Nanjing, China with a thrilling 2-1 (17-21, 26-24, 15-12)
victory over United States’ Louis Richards Torey DeFalco under
rainy conditions at Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo on Sunday.
MacNeil and Richards, who went undefeated in their three outings
during the preliminary phase of the NORCECA Central Zone Boys’
Qualification Tournament on Saturday, arrived into the decisive
contest after another three-set battle with Mexico’s Luis Ramos
and Jesus Rodriguez 21-14, 23-25, 15-13.
“I am thrilled and speechless after this great moment,” an
emotional MacNeil said. “We won the trials in Canada six months
ago to come to this tournament and we have been training very
hard since then. The work hard has paid off.”
“I never thought this thing was going to be possible,” Richards
said. “It is like a dream representing our country in the
Nanjing Games and I want to give credit to my partner, my
coaches and my parents.”
Commenting about the USA Team, Richards said: “The match was
even out there and could have gone either way. They are a great
team and I wish them good luck in the next round so they can
also get the chance to go to the Games.
In the semifinals, Richards/DeFalco defeated Puerto Rico’s
Sergio Figueroa and Luis Delgado in straight sets 21-13, 21-14.
In the contest to decide third place and a last chance to
Nanjing at the NORCECA Final Playoff next March, where second
and third placed teams of four tournaments will be competing for
two remaining spots to the Games, Figueroa and Delgado battled
past Ramos and Rodriguez 25-23, 21-19.
CAN d MEX 2-1 (21-14, 23-25, 15-13), USA d PUR 2-0 (21-13,
21-14). Bronze Medal Match: PUR d MEX 2-0 (25-23, 21-19).
Gold Medal Match: CAN d USA 2-1 (17-21, 26-24, 15-12).
Final Positions: 1. Canada, 2. United States, 3.
Puerto Rico, 4. Mexico.