U.S. Junior Women Earn Pan Ams Gold; Team USA Brings Home Six Medals

Team USA earned six medals at the 2024 Pan American Junior Championships–including junior women’s team gold–June 16-22, in Quito, Ecuador.

The Pan American Junior Championships brought together top juniors from ten different nations in North, Central, and South America competing across individual, team and doubles events.

For a third straight year, the U.S. Junior Women’s Team pulled off a gold medal-winning run as the top seeds. The U.S. defeated Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador in the final to reach the top of the podium

Charlotte Sze and Elise Kang both added to their team gold medals with individual medals. Sze, the two seed, and Kang, a 5/8 seed met each other in the draws bottom half semifinal. Sze defeated her teammate in four games to reach the final, earning Kang a bronze medal in the process. Sze then fell in the final against Paraguay’s champion and 3/4 seed Fiorella Gatti in three games, consigning Sze to a silver medal.

The U.S. Junior Men’s Team entered the team draw as 3/4 seeds and fulfilled their seeding with a quarterfinal win over Peru. The U.S. men then lost out to top seeded Ecuador 2-0 in the semifinals to take home bronze medals.

Team USA added two silver medals in the doubles competitions. Brother and sister Mixed Doubles team Colton & Reghan McLaughlin pulled off a surprise run to the final as 3/4 seeds, defeating Canada and Peru in the quarterfinals and finals. The McLaughlin’s narrowly lost out in the final against top seeded Argentina 11-9, 11-10.

Will Newman and Yaseen Shalaby fulfilled their two seed in the Junior Men’s Doubles with a run to the finals. Newman & Shalaby reached the final with wins over Argentina and Canada, and pushed the top-seeded Colombian team in a close final loss 2-11, 11-9, 8-11.

“We knew going to Quito would not be easy; the conditions are tough, especially with the altitude and conditions in general,” said Karim Ibrahim, Director of U.S. Junior National Teams and Pan Ams Coach. “I’m so proud of our players for having the courage to adapt their training and style of play to the conditions and fighting through any discomfort. Their resilience was contagious and something we all were inspired by. This year’s team was led by our Captains Will Newman and Elise Kang; they were able to lead to our team in the most passionate and classiest way possible. The Squad was full of youth players such as Yaseen Shalaby, the McLaughlings siblings, and Charlotte Sze and none of them shied away from the challenge. My personal highlight of the trip is when the U.S. Embassy personnel in Quito showed up on Day 2 of the competition to show support to our players and exchange stories and experiences.”