Friday, July 24, 2015

Mexico & USA win doubles gold at 2015 Pan American Games

Mexicans Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas won Women's Doubles at the 2015 Pan American Games, which was a successful defence of their 2011 gold medal. In Friday's final, the Mexicans defeated the Argentina team of Veronique Guillemette and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-3, 15-4.

The teams were close early in game one, but when Mexico regained serve at 4-3 they called a timeout. After that Mexico scored eleven unanswered points to take game one.

A similar scenario played out in game two, as Mexico was up 4-3, and then ran the score to 14-3. Then Argentina got one point back before Mexico finished the game and match.

The win made Longoria a double gold medalist in Toronto, as she won gold in Women's Singles earlier in the day.

In Men's Doubles, Americans Jansen Allen and Jose Rojas defeated Boliivans Roland Keller and Conrado Moscoso, 15-8, 15-5. It was a very competitive match early in game one, and Bolivia actually led 6-3.

From there the Americans took over, scoring eight unanswered points, primarily with winners from Rojas, who afterwards said he'd been playing much better "since that Canada loss" in the group stage, and "I peaked right when I needed to."

That put the USA up 11-6. Bolivia clawed a couple of points back, getting the score to 12-8. But they couldn't get any closer, as Allen closed out the game with a service winner: a drive Z to the right that Keller couldn't pick off the back glass.

Game two was a similar story with the team close early, and then the USA pulling away. They took the score from 2-2 to 8-2. At that point, Rojas hit a three wall serve that gave the serve back to Bolivia.

Keller hit a winner to make it 8-3, but any thought of a comeback was ended as Keller was hit by the ball on the next rally, and then Moscoso skipped a shot resulting a side out.

The USA then dimmed any more hopes the Bolivians had by scoring five points to lead 13-3. From there it was only a matter of time.

The win was the USA's first gold in Men's Doubles since 1999, when Doug Ganim and Drew Kachtik won in Winnipeg. Rojas said "it's a real honour, a true honour" to be part of Pan Am Games history.

Allen, who turned 26 Friday, added he "couldn't have a better birthday."

The Men's and Women's Team competition begins Friday afternoon and concludes Sunday.

For updates during the event - between postings on the website - follow us on Twitter: @racquetballblog.

2015 Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada

Women's Doubles


1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 6) Veronique Guillemette & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina), 15-3, 15-4

Men's Doubles


5) Jansen Allen & Jose Rojas (USA) d. 3) Roland Keller & Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia), 15-8, 15-5

Follow the bouncing ball....

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