The Latin American Qualification Tournament showed that anything can happen in the road to Rio 2016. Gustavo Tsuboi of Brazil arrived to Santiago de Chile as top seed and favorite to qualify on the first day but things turned dark for the Brazilian player.
Gustavo Tsuboi was the only player sent by Brazil in the men's event. Hugo Calderano was already qualified after winning the Pan American Games Toronto 2015, so the South American country needed to have only one more qualified player to enter in the team event in Rio 2016. But things didn't go as expected for Brazil at first.
On the first day Tsuboi was surprisingly beaten by local hero's Felipe Olivares by 4-3 in quarterfinals. Eventually the first day was dominated by Cuba. Andy Pereira and Jorge Campos booked a place to Rio after beating Chile's Gustavo Gomez and Olivares, respectively.
On the second day the Brazilian player reached the deciding match. He was leading by 2-0 against Marcos Madrid of Mexico but the Mexican player managed to turn the match around and won by 9-11, 8-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 13-11 and 11-6.
On the last day Gustavo Tsuboi had a hard road to the deciding match. In the second round he recovered from 0-2 against Argentina's Gaston Alto to get victory by 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6 and 11-8. In the penultimate match the Brazilian player was also challenged by Argentina's Rodrigo Gilabert. He eventually stood victorious by 12-10, 11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 4-11, 5-11 and 13-11.
The deciding match was also a battle for Tsuboi. The top seed faced Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay. The Brazilian player was leading by 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 and 11-8, but Aguirre put Tsuboi's Olympic dreams in danger after leveling by 11-5 and 11-3. Fortunately for Brazil, he could seal his victory by 11-9.
In Latin America top seeds stumbled in the women's and men's events, will that happen at the European Olympic Qualification Tournamnet too?
Gustavo Tsuboi vs Marcelo Aguirre Video kindly shared by Official ITTF Channel
Gustavo Tsuboi vs Marcos Madrid Video kindly shared by Official ITTF Channel