El Salvador added two new medals for its harvest in the I Pan American Games in Cali with the silver achieved by badminton, one in mixed doubles and the other in singles. In the first round, the duo made up of Fátima Centeno and Uriel Canjura fell in the mixed doubles final with Canadians Rachel Chan and Brian Yang by 21-13 and 21-14.
Although the Salvadorans were always at a disadvantage on the scoreboard, they never let much slip away, but Chan and Yang’s craft was important when it came to playing the key points. However, the performance of the Salvadorans was very commendable, who managed to reach the final after leaving the pairs of Venezuela, Aruba and Argentina on the road.
“It was very close, we felt that we connected quite well on the court, we communicated very well. We thought it could be more difficult, but the truth was we played a good game for them all the game, “said Fatima Centeno.
“From the moment we saw the keys, we began to believe that we could go far and we took advantage of each game to give our best,” added Fátima, very excited while squeezing the Pana mascot that is part of the awards kit with her hands.
A very emotional moment was experienced when both went up to the podium to receive their medals while a deafening “El Salvador, El Salvador, El Salvador !!!” I was coming down from the stands of the Valle del Pacífico Events Center, in Yumbo, on the outskirts of Cali. The anthem did not sound, but the national flag did fly before the pride of all the Salvadorans present.
Something similar happened in the awards of the individual modality, where Uriel Canjura again got on the podium to receive his silver medal. To get there he beat the Costa Rican Johan Jiménez, the Chilean Alonso Medel, the Brazilian Donnians Oliveira and the Mexican Luis Montoya. These last two games, very tight on the scoreboard, with a great comeback in the case of the Brazilian and even more epic against Montoya, who had won the first set.
In the final, there was little Uriel could do against Canadian Brian Yang, of oriental roots, who beat him without complications with a 21-8 and 21-6.
“There are many feelings, so much so that they have worked for this moment. The game did not go the way I wanted, but the road was long, hard and you have to enjoy this, said Uriel.
“After yesterday’s game my legs felt resentful, but I tried to give everything and did as far as I could and I am happy with the result, there are two medals and we have to celebrate,” he said. Then he added: “There are still many things to improve and to continue working … Now what I want is to return to El Salvador, which I have not been in for eleven months, and eat some good pupusas” Canjura.