After an illustrious nineteen year career as a professional, Ruben Beloki has announced his retirement from the sport. The 37 year old from Burlada holds the distinction of being the youngest ever Manomanista Champion, a title which he won in 1995 at the age of 20. He also took the prize in 1998, 1999 and 2001 as well as the Pairs Championship in 1996 and 2003. He will bring his wealth of experience to Asegarce’s technical staff.
A tribute match will take place on Saturday 3rd December at Labrit. Beloki was to have been joined by Aimar Olaizola but following the postponement of the Cuatro y Medio final to the 4th, a replacement will be sought. He and his partner will take on Oinatz Bengoetxea and Aritz Begino in this his swansong game. We wish him all the best in his new role.
Image from Marca
Friday 18th November, Estella-Lizarra
22:15 (CET) OLAZABAL – LARRINAGA v JAUNARENA – ARRUTI
Followed by MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – ZABALETA v RETEGI BI – ZUBIETA
Sunday 20th November, Logrono
17:00 (CET) APEZETXEA – CECILIO v GORKA – MERINO
Followed by TITIN III -MERINO II v GONZALEZ – BARRIOLA
To watch, go to http://www.eitb.tv or https://www.eitb.eus/es/deportes/deporte-en-directo/
The Cuatro y Medio final between Juan Martinez de Irujo and Aimar Olaizola, due to be held on Sunday 27th November, has been postponed until Sunday 4th December. Asegarce requested the delay after Olaizola’s finger injury failed to heal as quickly as expected. The star from Goizueta stuck the middle finger of his left hand on the ground attempting to scoop up a serve in his semi final win over Abel Barriola last Sunday, suffering a hairline fracture. The Asegarce medical staff were confident that he would be able to resume training after four days of complete rest and a course of anti-inflammatories, but the injury has not improved significantly and still causes a lot of pain. Certain in the knowledge that Olaizola would not be able to play on the 27th, his empresa requested the match be postponed by one week, as is their right.
On a personal note, the postponement means I will no longer be able to go. I was intending to make the trip over to Bilbao next weekend for the match and cannot manage the following week. I am still going to go to the Basque Country for a few days however, and will try to get to whatever matches are accessible. This may involve the Promocion final, if it happens on the 26th; there may be a postponement there as well as Lemuno has an injured hand. He will visit a specialist today before a decision is made. If the news is bad, it will be delayed until Friday 2nd December and will take place in either Tolosa or Zarautz. It seems I am jinxed!
Aimar must rest further
Image from Noticias de Navarra by Juan Lazkano