Monday, July 15, 2024

Mexico gold strike at Pan American Games

Triple gold boosts home team as Rodriguez lands men’s crown

Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez overcame local hope Alfredo Avila 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 in the Men’s Singles final to win his fourth successive PanAm squash title.

“I’m very pleased to get the fourth Panamerican gold medal in a row,” said the world No13 from Bogota, the highest-ranked South American of all-time. “The tournament was very difficult, as it was a big draw and very hard matches – playing Avila, (Cesar) Salazar, (Eric) Galvez and (Diego) Elias. I was very prepared, and am just enjoying playing.”

The 28-year-old Colombian went on to claim a second gold after partnering Catalina Pelaez to success in the Mixed Doubles – where the pair (both pictured above) beat Maria Elena Ubina &Chris Hanson of the USA in the final.

Mexico’s first gold came in the Women’s Singles, courtesy of the country’s highest-ever ranked player Samantha Teran. The former world No11 from Mexico City claimed a remarkable seventh PanAm title triumph after beating top-seeded Canadian Samantha Cornett 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 in the final.

“I am very happy for the win,” said the 33-year-old Mexican star (pictured above at the medal ceremony). “After being injured, it was very difficult to get back – but it was important because the event was in Mexico, and the competition was very tough due to the qualification process for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

“I just took the draw step by step. This was the seventh Panamerican Women’s Individual title that I’ve won, and I’m looking forward to defend the title in Toronto next year.”

A second gold came Mexico’s way when second seeds Karla Urrutia & Nayelly Hernandez beat Colombians Karol Gonzalez & Laura Tovar 4-11, 11-5, 11-7 in the Women’s Doubles Final.

A final between the top two seeded pairings in the Men’s Doubles produced Argentina’s sole gold when favourites Leandro Romiglio & Robertino Pezzota defeated Mexicans Arturo Salazar & Eric Galvez 11-9, 8-11, 11-6.

USA fulfilled their seeding in the Women’s Team Championship, beating third seeds Canada 2/1 in the final. Canada denied second seeds Mexico a place in the final after a 2/0 upset in the semis – with Samantha Cornett gaining revenge over fellow ‘Sam’ Teran in four games.

“We knew the tie versus Canada would be tough,” said USA’s Gilly Lane. “Sabrina got off to a great start with an upset win over Samantha Cornett, one of the strongest players in the tournament. Nikki took the next match for Canada. Then, Olivia demonstrated great professionalism and defeated Danielle Letourneau, who is a player that is really improving right now.

“We look forward to the #1 seeded position in TO2015.”

It was in the Men’s Team event that Mexico clinched their third gold medal, the No2 seeds beating surprise finalists Canada, 3/4 seeds, 2/0 in the final.

Mexican federation President Federico Serna was delighted with his team’s successes: “After several years of training, we have found a cohesive team unit; with 8 players and one goal.”

Serna was also the Tournament Chairman. “We were glad to see the biggest Panamerican Championship ever hosted in Mexico, and pleased to welcome new Caribbean entries – St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was a good exercise in hosting, and Mexico looks forward to hosting more major championships.”

St. Vincent & the Grenadines Coach James Bentwick added: “This was great exposure to athletes outside the Caribbean regions – which is important for the motivation of the athletes.”

Athlete Kevin Hannaway concluded: “It was a great experience for all of us, to play squash at altitude. We are looking forward to coming back.”

RESULTS: Pan American Squash Championships, Toluca, Mexico

Men’s Singles semi-finals:
[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 12-10, 11-8, 11-2 (38m)
[2] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [9/16] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 11-2, 11-1, 11-3 (10m)
[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [2] Alfredo Avila (MEX) 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 (48m)

Women’s Singles semi-finals:
[1] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (21m)
[2] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 (30m)
[2] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [1] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (42m)

Men’s Doubles semi-finals:
[1] Leandro Romiglio & Robertino Pezzota (ARG) bt
[3/4] Alonso Escudero & Diego Elias (PER) 11-10, 11-8
[2] Arturo Salazar & Eric Galvez (MEX) bt
[3/4] Edilson Ribeiro Nunes & Vinicius Costa (BRA) 11-2, 11-1
[1] Leandro Romiglio & Robertino Pezzota (ARG) bt
[2] Arturo Salazar & Eric Galvez (MEX) 11-9, 8-11, 11-6

Women’s Doubles semi-finals:
[5/8] Karol Gonzalez & Laura Tovar (COL) bt
[3/4] Aline Evelyn & Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 11-4, 11-8
[2] Karla Urrutia & Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) bt
[5/8] Danielle Letourneau & Nikki Todd (CAN) 11-6, 11-3
[2] Karla Urrutia & Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) bt
[5/8] Karol Gonzalez & Laura Tovar (COL) 4-11, 11-5, 11-7

Mixed Doubles semi-finals:
[1] Catalina Pelaez & Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt
[5/8] Pilar Etchechoury & Rodrigo Pezzota (ARG) 11-3, 10-11, 11-9
[2] Maria Elena Ubina & Chris Hanson (USA) bt
[3/4] Diana Garcia & Alfredo Avila (MEX) 8-11, 11-9, 11-6
[1] Catalina Pelaez & Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt
[2] Maria Elena Ubina & Chris Hanson (USA) 11-4, 11-7

Men’s Team semi-finals:
[3/4] CANADA bt [1] ARGENTINA 2/0 
[2] MEXICO bt [3/4] USA 2/1 
[2] MEXICO bt [3/4] CANADA 2/0 
Alfredo Avila bt Shawn Delierre 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10 (62m)
Eric Galvez bt Graeme Schnell 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-2 (53m)

Women’s Team semi-finals:
[1] USA bt [4/6] BRAZIL 3/0 
[3] CANADA bt [2] MEXICO 2/0 
[1] USA bt [3] CANADA 2/1 
Sabrina Sobhy bt Samantha Cornett 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 (23m)
Maria Elena Ubina lost to Nikki Todd 11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 5-11 (25m)
Olivia Blatchford bt Danielle Letourneau 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (37m)

Read more

Latest News