Javier Vergara/Santiago 2023
Gold medalist in Toronto-2015 and Lima-2019, Hugo Calderano made history by becoming this Wednesday the first three-time champion in the history of the men’s singles tournament at the Pan American Games. The Brazilian achieved the feat by defeating Cuban Andy Pereira in a decision by 11/3, 11/8, 11/5 and 11/4.
+ FOLLOW OTD ON YOUTUBE, TWITTER, INSTAGRAMTIK TOK E FACEBOOK
“I always like to say that I didn’t get here to defend my two titles, but to win one more. It’s always a new competition, a new challenge. So, there can be several things that can hinder you and nothing you’ve done in the past guarantees you the next title. So, the focus must always be on the present”, believes the three-time champion.
Before Hugo Calderano, two table tennis players managed to win the Pan American Games twice in a row. Brazilian Hugo Hoyama won gold in Havana-1991 and Mar Del Plata-1995. Afterwards, Dominican Lin Ju reached the highest place on the podium in Santo Domingo-2003 and Rio-2007. But no one, until then, had achieved three victories in a row. The first was the 27-year-old from Rio, who has collected achievements in table tennis.
“I don’t like comparing myself to other athletes because each one has their own story and titles. But it is very important for me to achieve this third championship in an event as big as the Pan American Games, which always give me a lot of excitement and this time was no different. I’m very happy to be here and to get my third individual championship,” he said.
Fourth place in the world rankings, Hugo Calderano has an impressive hegemony in tournaments in the Americas. With the victory of the Pan-American Games, there are 14 titles in 15 championships. The numbers become even more incredible in relation to the number of games. The Brazilian won 102 of 104 matches played and has not lost a singles match in seven years in competitions within the continent.
With the gold medal won against Andy Garcia, Hugo Calderano reaches two in this edition of the Pan American Games, as he won silver the day before in the doubles alongside Vitor Ishiy. In total, in three editions of the event, the Brazilian has won five golds, one silver and one bronze. In Santiago, he has the chance to climb the podium once again in the team race, which starts this Thursday.
Founder and content director of Olimpíada Todo Dia