Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Pan Am Games - 3 Gold for Mexico, 1 for USA

Tonight Mexican Paola Longoria has two gold medals around her neck as she won women's singles and doubles (with Samantha Salas) at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. American Rhonda Rajsich has two silver medals, as she fell to Longoria in both finals, each of which required a tie-breaker to decide the outcome.

In singles, Longoria beat Rajsich, 12-15, 15-10, 11-9, to win Pan Am Games gold for the first time by a Mexican. In fact, it's the first Pan Am Games medal of any sort for Mexico in women's singles.

Rajsich's silver medal is her first Pan Am Games medal in individual competition.

In women's doubles, the Mexicans took the first game but then needed a third game to overcome Rajsich and Aimee Ruiz, 15-12, 5-15, 11-5.

The men's singles final was a showdown of the 2003 Pan Am Games bronze medalists with American Rocky Carson defeating Mexican Gilberto Mejia in two straight games, 15-1, 15-13. Carson's win continues the streak of American men winning Pan Am Games gold. He joins the list of Pan Am Games gold medalists with John Ellis (1995), Adam Karp (1999), and Jack Huczek (2003).

In men's doubles, Alvaro Beltran and Javier Moreno of Mexico won gold for the second consecutive Pan Am Games, having done it in 2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They defeated Cesar Castro and Jorge Hirsekorn of Venezuela, 15-14, 15-4, in the final.

Nevertheless, Castro and Hirsekorn are the first non-North Americans to win silver at the Pan Am Games. Pan Am Games finals have exclusively been between players from Mexico, the USA and Canada prior to today.

Mexico increased its gold medal haul from two in 2003 - men's and women's doubles - to three in 2011 - women's singles, men's and women's doubles. USA's gold medal count decreased as a result of Mexico's increase, as the Americans won only one gold in Guadalajara.

Only Mexico and the USA have ever won gold at the Pan Am Games.

The racquetball competition's individual competition concluded Saturday October 22 and a team competition will run Sunday October 23 to Tuesday October 25.

2011 Pan American Games - Guadalajara, Mexico

Men Singles - Final

Rocky Carson (USA) d. Gilberto Mejia (Mex), 15-1, 15-13

Women Singles - Final

Paola Longoria (Mex) d. Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 12-15, 15-10, 11-9

Men Doubles - Final

Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mex) d. Cesar Castro & Jorge Hirsekorn (Venezuela), 15-14, 15-4

Women Singles - Final

Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mex) d. Rhonda Rajsich & Aimee Ruiz (USA), 12-15, 5-15, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball....

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