June 24th, 2024

Iwaasa racquetball gold at Pan Am

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on April 21, 2022.

Lethbridge’s Coby Iwaasa and playing partner Sam Murray of Quebec won a gold medal in racquetball men’s doubles for Team Canada at the Pan Am Championships last week in Bolivia.
The Canadian duo beat the Ecuador team of Juan Francisco Cueva and Jose Daniel Ugalde in the final with scores of 10-15, 15-13, 15-5, 11-15, 11-5.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Iwaasa.
“You know, there’s always a bit of a disbelief and we finally made it. We were in the final a few years ago in Colombia and we lost in a tiebreaker there as well. But here, this initial game, we started up a little rocky and they were playing very well and it seemed just at the beginning you could see like wow this going to be another final where we had our opportunities and we missed it.”
Iwaasa said being able to get through it and conquer it is how he is riding the wave right now.
“We did something unbelievably hard and we managed to pull it out and that’s (why) I’m riding cloud nine for,” he said.
He believed they were able to pull through with experience.
“We’ve comeback many times,” said Iwaasa.
“And Sam is very trusting of me and I trust Sam completely. When we’re in the court, we look at each other and say, ‘Let’s get this point.’ We feel confident that one of us is going to get it.”
“I am very happy with our win today,” said Murray.
“The team from Ecuador surprised us at the beginning of the match but we were able to make changes so we started to play better. I have been working very hard to have great results for Team Canada, so I am really happy to finally win for the team. Being able to do it with Coby is awesome.”
One of Iwaasa’s strongest parts to his game is his serve.
“In the third game, right at the beginning, I scored six points right off the bat,” he said.
“And those streaks that you’re able to provide give you this margin of error — like OK I can miss a few shots and I’ll still be safe. Well all the pressure is on them and the more the pressure got on them, the more they started to miss and the more we started to make.”
This was the first gold medal for both players at an elite international level as they lost the doubles final in 2019.
The team beat Mexico in the quarterfinals and the USA in the semi-finals leading up to the final.

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