Bronze for Lily Zhang in Women’s Singles at the Pan Am Games
Lily Zhang earned her 7th Pan Am medal, and her 3rd bronze in Women’s Singles at the 2023 Pan Am Games today. After sailing through her earlier round opponents, Lily faced tough competition in the semifinal against Bruna Takahashi (BRA). The two had met multiple times this year, most recently at the Pan Am Championships in Cuba in September, with Bruna always having the upper hand. In today’s semifinal, it was no different. Bruna was able to control the match and overcame Lily 4-0.
In the other semi-final, Mo Zhang (CAN) faced Adriana Diaz (PUR). Adriana, the top seed, and defending champion, struggled early on with Mo’s unique style with short pips on the forehand. But, in the end, Adriana’s consistency and creativity shone through and she moved onto the final 4-3.
The final was an emotional affair, as Bruna and Adriana traded games in the best of 7 match. Bruna led 3 games to 2, but Adriana came back and eventually won 4-3. The winning point produced goose bumps, with Adriana falling to the ground in celebration in defending her gold medal, and then immediately hugging Bruna and wiping away her tears. Table tennis is about more than medals. The comradery and respect these two women have for each other highlighted the best of the Pan Am Games.
Congratulations to Adriana Diaz (PUR) for winning gold, Bruna Takahashi (BRA) for silver, and Lily Zhang (USA) and Zhang Mo (CAN) for bronze.
Competition continues November 2nd with the team event. US men and women will compete in round robin groups with the top 2 advancing into the quarterfinals. The US women are looking to improve upon their bronze medal finish in 2019, and are aiming for gold.