Guatemala’s Giron and Bethancourt book ticket to Nanjing
Guatemala City, Guatemala, February 2, 2014 - Guatemala’s Natalia Giron and Estefanie Bethancourt booked the AFECAVOL girls’ ticket to the Youth Olympic Games of Nanjing 2014 defeating Roxana Avalos and Alexandra Calderon of El Salvador by 2-0 (21-11, 21-18) in the final match at Campo Marte in Guatemala on Sunday.
Giron and Bethancourt finished the tournament undefeated, earning their way to the gold medal match beating Adjanis Arosemena and Keysi Caballero of Panama in the semifinals by 2-0 (21-9, 21-17). In the other semifinal, Avalos and Calderon prevailed over Mirian Lobo and Sidney Moncada of Honduras 21-16, 21-16.
With tears in their eyes, the home team celebrated in front of a considerable number of fans who cheered for them all the way.
For Natalia Giron the victory was based on how well she adjusted with her partner Estefanie.
“I dedicate this victory to her, to a wonderful partner,” Giron said. “I am so happy that we’re able to make history today and I want to thank all the fans who supported us in the two days of competition”.
“All our sacrifice has finally produced its fruits; this is a unique opportunity that no one in Guatemala’s volleyball has ever had. We are prepared to practice harder and represent our country well,” Bethancourt said.
Avalos said to be satisfied with their performance. “I know we can do better and we’ll continue to practice,” she stated. “I felt we were mentally blocked in today’s match because the pressure was too much”.
The second and third place winners will have a chance to be Nanjing at the NORCECA play off in Puerto Rico. Panama´s Arosemena/Caballero finished in third place defeating Honduras’ Lobo/Moncada 21-13, 21-12.
Semifinals: ESA d HON 2-0 (21-16, 21-16); GUA d PAN 2-0 (21-9, 21-17); 5-6 positions: NCA d CRC 2-0 (21-17, 21-18); Bronze Medal Match: PAN d HON 2-0 (21-13, 21-12); Gold Medal Match: GUA d ESA 2-0 (21-11, 21-18), Final Positions: 1. Guatemala, 2. El Salvador, 3. Panamá, 4. Honduras, 5. Nicaragua, 6. Costa Rica.