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U.S. Dominates Pool at Pan Am Games

August 16, 2003

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ U.S. women’s swim coach Bill Rose is having no trouble keeping up with his team’s medal total, it’s easy when you’re always winning.

``I think the results are pretty much speaking for themselves,″ Rose said. ``Thirteen events and we’ve won 11 of them. How can they do any better?″

The Americans dominated in the pool in the Pan American Games again Friday night, winning four races and nine medals between the men’s and women’s competitions. Michael Raab, of Rockville, Md., won the 200-meter butterfly in a personal-best 1 minute, 57.33 seconds to set a Pan Am record, topping the mark he set in morning preliminaries (1:57.54).

``A lot of people are bagging the morning swim,″ he said. ``I looked at the race analysis, I adjusted my strategy a little bit and dropped a couple tenths.″

Peter Marshall of Atlanta won the 100 backstroke, edging Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell, who swims for Auburn, and Jayme Cramer of Cincinnati.

Morgan Hentzen of La Habra Heights, Calif., and Rachel Burke, Bethesda, Md., went 1-2 in the women’s 800 freestyle. There were no prelims in the event because of the high temperature in the pool, which didn’t bother the Americans.

Then the U.S. women took the 400 medley relay by nearly eight seconds over Canada, setting a Pan Am mark of 4:05.92.

Dianna MacManus, Staciana Stitts, Dana Vollmer and Amanda Weir had open water after the first leg.

``We want to dominate,″ Rose said. ``But we want to dominate in a classy way.″

The men’s 50 freestyle was won by Fernando Sherer of Brazil, with Miami’s Gary Hall finishing third. Canada’s Joanne Malar edged two Americans _ Corrie Clark of Malvern, Pa., and Laura Davis of Concord, Calif. _ in the 200 individual medley.

The United States won its first boxing gold when super heavyweight Jason Estrada of Providence, R.I., defeated Michael Lopez Nunez of Cuba, 14-6. Welterweight Juan McPherson (Cleveland) won silver medal after his loss to Lorenzo Aragon of Cuba, 30-11. Cuba won four of six gold medals.

After the final bell, an emotional Estrada waved both the Dominican and American flags, representing both sides of his family.

Vic Wunderle beat countryman Guy Krueger 109-106 in the men’s archery final after twice setting games records in earlier rounds. It was the fifth Pan Ams gold medal for Wunderle, of Mason City, Ill. The top-seeded Wunderle established the record in the 12-arrow portion of the event with 111 points in beating Hugh MacDonald of Canada, then scored 112 when he defeated Glenn Meyers of Grand Rapids, Mich., in the semifinals.

``I’m ecstatic because our team shot really well and we finished in first, second and third like we hoped we would,″ Wunderle said.

Meyers won bronze by beating El Salvador’s Cristobal Merlos, but he was not allowed to collect the medal because games rules prohibit a sweep of medals by one country.

``I feel bad Glenn didn’t get his medal,″ Wunderle said, ``but we all know he shot well and earned it.″

In taekwondo, Olympic champion Steven Lopez of Houston won gold in his first international competition in a new weight class.

Lopez, who won in Sydney at 68 kilograms, won here as a welterweight (80 kilos). In his four matches Friday, he outscored opponents 28-6.

In his semifinal bout against Eddy Luna of the Dominican Republic, Lopez ran up the score in an attempt to silence the loud crowd.

``Against the Dominican, I had fun because I wanted the crowd to shut up,″ he said.

Simona Hradil, also from Houston, shared the women’s welterweight bronze after losing 5-4 to Yaneth Leal of Venezuela in the semifinals. Leal beat Vanina Sanchez of Argentina for the gold.

Rami Zur of Chula Vista, Calif., shook off Thursday’s disqualification in the 500 meters and earned a bronze medal in the one-man kayak 1,000 behind Javier Correa of Argentina and Sebastian Cuattrin of Brazil.

The Brazilian women won the soccer gold 2-1 over Canada in a game delayed from Thursday when the wet field became unplayable. Cristiane Silva scored just 21 seconds into overtime; she came on as a substitute in the closing minutes of the second half.

``Beautiful Brazil! Beautiful Brazil!″ Silva chanted.

Argentina edged Brazil’s men 1-0 in a matchup of young teams from the South American soccer powers. In a typically bruising and bad-tempered affair, Maximiliano Lopez scored at the stroke of halftime. The game ended in controversy when Brazil thought a late header crossed the goal line. But the referee ruled Pablo Barzola’s amazing goal-line clear came before the ball entered the net.

Mexico beat Colombia 5-4 on penalty kicks for the men’s bronze medal after a 0-0 tie.

The U.S. men couldn’t do much of anything against Brazil in the volleyball bronze medal match, with the Brazilians sweeping 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 in 79 minutes.

In the big match, Venezuela beat Cuba 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 for the gold.

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