Brazil required just 51 minutes to dispose of Paraguay and Argentina crushed Uruguay to share the lead in Group A, while Peru brushed aside Chile to lead Group B, one point ahead of Colombia, which dropped a set to Venezuela in a 3-1 win at the tournament being held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The winner of the five-day tournament will qualify for November’s Grand Champions Cup in Japan which already boasts the hosts, Thailand and the Dominican Republic among its participants with the South American continental champion, the European champion and a wild card filling the remaining vacancies.
The Brazilians, attempting to win their 16th title and eight in a row, lost only 25 points the entire match in taming Paraguay 25-10, 25-5, 25-10.
Argentina was anything but weak against Uruguay, racing to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-10) victory in just over an hour.
Argentine coach Horacio Bastit credited the performance of his team on recent preparation matches against Brazil and added that the victory would give his young play players confidence they can reach the podium at the tournament.
In Group B, Peru blanked Chile 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-18) in exactly an hour.
Peru’s assistant coach Natalia Málaga said the victory was an excellent start for the team as it aims for the title.
"We are aware of the superiority of Brazil,” she said, “but we are here to finish first in this competition. Our next priority is Colombia and we saw today how they have evolved.”
In the day’s closest match, Colombia outlasted Venezuela 25-10, 27-29, 25-23, 25-23.
On Thursday Venezuela will play Chile, Peru tackle Colombia, Argentina squares off against Paraguay and Brazil take on Uruguay.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS