Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Pan Am Games - Mexico sweeps team gold

Mexico swept the team competitions at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico Tuesday. The Mexican women needed only two matches to defeat Team USA, but the Mexican men needed to win the doubles to beat the American men.

Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas both won their singles matches for Mexico, so they did not have to team up in doubles to defeat the USA. Longoria beat Rhonda Rajsich, 14-15, 15-6, 11-1, for the second time in a month, as she also bested Rajsich at the US Open in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Salas defeated Cheryl Gudinas, 15-8, 15-2, to win Mexico's first gold medal in a Pan Am Games team competition, and perhaps their first ever in international competition.

On the men's side, Rocky Carson got the USA off on the right foot, winning the opening match of the men's final, 15-8, 15-5, against Gilberto Mejia. But Alvaro Beltran leveled the match at 1-1 with a 15-12, 15-8 victory over Chris Crowther.

Thus it came down to the doubles.

Americans Shane Vanderson and Crowther won the first game of the doubles match, but Mexicans Javier Moreno and Beltran won the next two to take the match, 11-15, 15-9, 11-4, and earn a second team gold for Mexico.

The Racquetball Blog believes this is the first time that the USA has not won a team gold medal at an international racquetball competition. They have lost the men's or the overall title (to Canada in all cases) at the World Championships, but always won the women's title.

The 2015 Pan American Games will be held July 10-26 in Toronto, Canada.

2011 Pan American Games - Guadalajara, Mexico

Women's Team - Finals

Mexico d. USA, 2-0
- Paola Longoria d. Rhonda Rajsich, 14-15, 15-6, 11-1
- Samantha Salas d. Cheryl Gudinas, 15-8, 15-2

Men's Team - Final

Mexico d. USA, 2-1
- Rocky Carson d. Gilberto Mejia, 15-8, 15-5
- Alvaro Beltran d. Chris Crowther, 15-12, 15-8
- Beltran & Javier Moreno d. Crowther & Shane Vanderson, 11-15, 15-9, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball....

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