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Pan American Games (Singles) 2015

Pan American Games Championships 2015
Singles Tournament
Toronto, Canada

click here for Doubles Event
click here for Teams Event

Rodriguez & Sobhy Take PanAm Games Gold

Top seeds Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the world No.4 from Colombia, and Amanda Sobhy, the world No.10 from the USA, claimed gold in the 2015 Pan American Games squash singles finals in Canada - Sobhy winning her first Games medal at the Exhibition Centre in Toronto and Rodriguez becoming the first squash player to successfully defend a PanAm Games title.

Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Bogota in his 11th year as a squash professional, faced rising star Diego Elias, the 18-year-old world No.43 from Peru who became his country's first ever world champion after winning the World Junior Championship title last year.

It took the experienced Colombian 88 minutes to see off underdog Elias, a 3/4 seed who upset second-seeded Mexican Cesar Salazar in the semi-finals.

Rodriguez won the first game 11-9 before the Peruvian teenager snapped back to draw level for the loss of just three points. From ten-all in the third, favourite Rodriguez clinched the next two points to open up a 2/1 lead before capitalising on unforced errors from his opponent in the fourth to close out the match 11-9, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8.

"Diego is a very good player who is beginning to excel on the circuit," said Rodriguez (pictured above, in yellow, with [L to R] Elias, and bronze medallists Shawn Delierre & Cesar Salazar). "I know him well. He played like a champion.

"Everybody expected me to win gold again - it was not easy," added the highest-ranked South American player of all-time. "I felt all the pressure of Colombia on me - but fortunately I finished with gold."

The women's final - an all-USA clash - was a swifter affair. Sobhy faced US team-mate Olivia Blatchford, a fellow 22-year-old, also from New York, who secured her surprise place in the final after upsetting No.2 seed Samantha Teran, the defending champion from Mexico.

Sobhy, making her Pan Am Games debut but playing her third match of the day after two doubles battles in the event, brushed aside Blatchford 11-8, 11-3, 11-3 in just 22 minutes.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Gold Medal in the singles!" said Sobhy (pictured above [2nd left] with [L to R] Blatchford and bronze medallists Samantha Cornett & Samantha Teran). "This is my first PanAmerican Games, so to be able to win a gold medal for not only myself, but for the US and squash in the United States is a huge honor.

"Congrats to my teammate, Olivia Blatchford, for getting the silver medal. Having an all-American final with the US getting the Gold and Silver medal just goes to show how much squash has progressed in the United States over the past few years.

"While the PanAmerican Games is a huge event for us, a real dream come true would be to stand up there with an Olympic Gold Medal around my neck!"

RESULTS: Pan American Games Squash Championships, Toronto, Canada

Men's 1st round:
Max Camiruaga (CHI) bt Juan Sebastian Chacon (ECU) 10-12, 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9
Alonso Escudero (PER) bt [9/16] Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-7, 11-7, 11-2
[9/16] Sunil Seth (GUY) bt Mauricio Sedano (GUA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-5
[9/16] Jaime Pinto (CHI) bt Ernesto Davila (ECU) 13-11, 11-4, 11-6
[9/16] Nicolas Caballero (PAR) bt Jason-Ray Khalil (GUY) 11-2, 11-5, 11-4

2nd round:
[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Max Camiruaga (CHI) 11-8, 11-4, 11-3
[9/16] Leandro Romiglio (ARG) bt [5/8] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9
[5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) bt Alonso Escudero (PER) 11-3, 11-8, 11-5
[3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [9/16] Sunil Seth (GUY) 11-3, 11-8, 11-8
[3/4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [9/16] Jaime Pinto (CHI) 11-0, 11-4, 11-6
[5/8] Christopher Gordon (USA) bt [9/16] Josue Enriquez (GUA) 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2
[5/8] Robertino Pezzota (ARG) bt [9/16] Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4
[2] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [9/16] Nicolas Caballero (PAR) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7

[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [9/16] Leandro Romiglio (ARG) 11-9, 14-12, 4-11, 11-6 (49m)
[3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 (73m)
[3/4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [5/8] Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (41m)
[2] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [5/8] Robertino Pezzota (ARG) 11-7, 14-16, 11-5, 12-14, 11-9 (77m)

[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (42m)
[3/4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [2] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 7-11, 8-11, 11-5 ret. (39m)

Men's Final:
[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [3/4] Diego Elias (PER) 11-9, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 (88m)

Women's 1st round:
Thaisa Serafini (BRA) bt [5/8] Karla Urrutia (MEX) 11-3, 11-2, 11-6
Giselle Delgado (CHI) bt [5/8] Maria Antonella Falcione (ARG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-9
[3/4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Pamela Anckermann (GUA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-0
[3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Tatiana Damasio Borges (BRA) 11-5, 11-8, 11-2
[5/8] Anita Pinto (CHI) bt Winifer Bonilla (GUA) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5
[5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Fernanda Rocha (ARG) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6
[2] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Karol Gonzalez (COL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-0

[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (19m)
[3/4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Giselle Delgado (CHI) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (22m)
[3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [5/8] Anita Pinto (CHI) 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (20m)
[2] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-0

[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3/4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-2, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6 (29m)
[3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [2] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (30m)

Women's Final:
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-3, 11-3 (22m)

PanAm images courtesy of Paige Stewart


Elias & Blatchford Bid For Surprise PanAm Games Gold

Peruvian teenager Diego Elias and US 22-year-old Olivia Blatchford claimed surprise places in the gold medal play-offs in the 2015 Pan American Games in Canada after upsets over the No.2 seeds in the Squash Championships in Toronto.

A day after meeting Thomas Bach during the IOC President's visit to the squash action at the Exhibition Centre in Canada's biggest city, 3/4 seed Elias (pictured above - 2nd left, top row - in squash group with Bach) ensured medal opportunities for Peru for the first time in PanAm Games' history when his semi-final opponent Cesar Salazar, silver medallist in 2011, retired injured with score at 7-11, 8-11, 11-5.

Elias, the 18-year-old world No.43 from Lima, will face defending champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the world No.4 from Colombia. The 29-year-old from Bogota brushed aside Canadian Shawn Delierre, the other 3/4 seed who was celebrating his third successive appearance in the semi-finals, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8.

The women's event comes to a surprise all-USA climax after New Yorker Blatchford stunned second-seeded Mexican Samantha Teran, the 2011 gold medallist, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 in 30 minutes.

The 3/4 seed will face US team-mate Amanda Sobhy, the top seed who graduated from Harvard University earlier this year. Sobhy, ranked 10 in the world, ended home interest in the women's event when she beat Canadian champion Samantha Cornett, silver medallist in 2011, 11-2, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6.

"I am so happy for Amanda because here is a girl playing for her country and has been No.1 for some time and she handled herself so beautifully under a lot of pressure against Cornett and in front of the home crowd," said Paul Assaiante, US Squash Head National Coach.

"It was impressive to see how confident Olivia was against an extremely experienced player. She has made us all proud to have two players in the Finals tomorrow.

"For the first time in a long time we are going to hear our National Anthem while standing on the top of the podium."

Thomas Bach witnessed Cornett's impressive opening round victory, when the 24-year-old from Ottawa despatched Guatemala's Pamela Anckermann in straight games.

"With so many sports to watch, how exciting to have IOC president Thomas Bach at the squash courts today," said Cornett (pictured above in conversation with Bach). "I am honoured he watched me play, happy to have met him, and I can only hope he enjoyed the match enough to consider squash for 2020.

"I will still be young for that one!"

 PanAm images courtesy of Paige Stewart