OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Hungarian Laura Sarosi easily eliminated all her opponents. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

THE title stayed in town, with Cuban Osleni Guerrero winning his sixth consecutive title in the Giradilla International Badminton Tournament, March 26, defeating Italy's Rosario Maddaloni, ranked number one in the event, 2-0, with the same score, 21-15, in both sets.

Both players took a tactical approach, with few forced errors. Guerrero sought to place the shuttlecock close to the net, while Maddaloni pushed his opponent back with shots to the edge of the court, looking to tire Guerrero - with little success. The sets were fairly even but as play advanced, the Cuban gained an advantage.

“At the beginning, I felt insecure since this was only my fourth game in seven months, but in the second half of both sets, I got into rhythm, gained confidence, and precision in the return, to surpass Maddaloni,” noted Guerrero, who now has the 2,500 points he needs to move up in the world rankings, and leave his current number 170 position behind.

Osleni Guerrero now has the 2,500 points he needs to move up in the world rankings, and leave his current number 170 position behind. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

In the women's division, the gold medal went to super-favorite, Hungarian Laura Sarosi, who defeated Mexico's Mariana Ugalde 2-0, with set scores of 21-19 and 21-15. The European player showed her ability to easily eliminate opponents throughout the competition. In the decisive game at the city's Ciudad Deportiva, Sarosi took the offensive from the very beginning, dominating the game from the back and front of the court, despite the tenacious resistance of Ugalde, who fought for every point.

Minutes after his victory in the singles competition, Osleni Guerrero joined Leodannis Martínez to capture the doubles title, overcoming the Italian duo Lukas Osele-Kevin Strobl, 2-1 (21-11, 22-24 and 21-8). After the victory, Guerrero noted that, although he has little experience with Leodannis as a partner, their training went well, and he hopes to continue working together to improve their performance, looking toward the Central American and Caribbean Games coming up in 2018, in the Colombian city of Barranquilla.

While Laura Sarosi and Mariana Ugalde put up a hard fight against each other in the singles match, they joined forces in the doubles to defeat Italians Silvia Garino-Lisa Iversen, with a score of 2-0 (21-15 and 21-17).

The mixed doubles title went to Cubans Leodannis Martínez and Tahimara Oropesa, who defeated Guatemala's duo of Jonathan Solís and Mariana Paiz, 2-0 (21-2 and 21-13).