Argentina top nation in Pan Am rowing
20/10/2011 - 10:10:00
The rowing regatta at the XVI Pan American Games in Guzman, Mexico, has wrapped up with Argentina finishing with the most number of medals. Argentina topped the tally with five golds, two silvers and one bronze, pushing perennial winners, the United States out of the top spot.
The United States, however, held their own finishing second with four golds, two silvers and a bronze.
A last day charge by Cuba brought them into third on the medals table but with the highest total number – nine medals out of the 14 events competed. Three of Cuba’s medals were gold.
For Argentina, both Maria Laura Abalo and Gabriela Best stood on the podium twice winning gold in both the women’s pair and women’s quadruple sculls events.
On the last day of racing, the lightweight women’s single sculls saw Jennifer Goldsack from the United States beating reigning World Champion Fabiana Beltrame of Brazil with Cuba’s Yaima Velazquez taking bronze. The United States also won gold in the open women’s single sculls (Margot Shumway).
Olympic qualifier from the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Angel Fournier of Cuba, proved to be the fastest sculler in Latin America in the men’s single sculls. But finishing first was not easy since he had to fight it out with the very motivated Mexican sculler, Patrick Loliger, who had previously won bronze in the men’s quadruple sculls. At the line there was only a 2.34 seconds’ difference between them.
The heavily contested lightweight men’s four saw the closest finish of the regatta with 30/100th of a second between first and third place giving Cuba, Argentina and Chile the podium spots. The men´s eight was won by the United States in a very quick time of 5:39:32. The US finished ahead of Canada and Argentina with only 76/100th of a second between them.
A total of 203 athletes from all over the Americas proved that rowing at the Pan American Games are not only growing but also increasing in the quality of the events. The medal spread between countries was much wider than at previous PanAm Games with medals also going to rowing developing countries like Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela rather than being dominated by the United States and Canada.
Pan American Rowing Confederation president, Jorge Toruño commented: "I am very pleased with the whole event and I recognise the discipline and order shared from umpiring officials which always had a keen eye during the regatta. Everything went so well that highlighting something in particular would be unfair."
Mexico can be very proud of installing a superb rowing installation and a well-run regatta.
The Pan American Games continues until 30 October 2011 and will then go to Toronto, Canada in 2015.
Full results and medal tally
Report thanks to Santiago Fuentes