PanAm Games History While USA & Canada Strike Team Gold
New York squash star
Amanda Sobhy made Pan American Games history by becoming the
first player to win three gold medals in a single event when she led
USA to victory in the Women's Team championship.
Hosts Canada thrilled
the packed crowd at the Exhibition Centre in Toronto by
upsetting favourites and defending champions Mexico to win their
first gold medal of the Games in the Men's event.
Sobhy, the 22-year-old world
No.10 who graduated from Harvard University earlier this year, was
making her PanAm Games debut - but, within 24 hours, struck gold in both
the women's singles and doubles events.
USA faced Canada, champions
in both 2007 and 2011, in the women's final. Squad number two Olivia
Blatchford put the second seeds ahead with an 11-4, 12-10, 11-8
victory over Canadian Hollie Naughton before Sobhy reclaimed the
title for USA with a powerful 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 win over top-ranked
Canadian Samantha Cornett (both pictured above) in a repeat of
the individual gold medal match.
"I was just in the zone,"
explained Sobhy. "I
feel like I couldn't feel my legs tonight and I was going to do whatever
came to mind and play instinctively."
The triumphant New Yorker
(pictured above with her three gold medals) later exclaimed to her
Twitter followers: "What a great way to end an
unforgettable PanAmerican Games! 3 golds, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes for
Silver medallists in the past
two events, Canada were eager to make amends in a repeat of the 2011
final against Mexico, this time before a partisan home crowd. In the
opening match, Calgary-based world No.92 Andrew Schnell faced
Mexico's experienced former world No.33 Eric Galvez - against
whom he had lost in straight games in two previous PanAmerican
23-year-old Schnell battled
for 37 minutes to overcome Galvez, eight years his senior, 11-9, 11-7,
11-8 to give the hosts the lead.
Team number one Shawn
Delierre, a veteran of three PanAm Games campaigns, then lined up
against higher-ranked Cesar Salazar. The 27-year-old Mexican,
winner of their clash in the 2011 team final, took the opening game -
but 33-year-old Delierre regained the upper hand thereafter and stormed
through to a 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 triumph in 57 minutes to clinch the
long-awaited gold medal for Canada.
"I'm at a loss for words!"
tweeted Schnell (pictured below, centre, with his men's and women's
team-mates) later. "Canada Wins GOLD at the
PanAm Games!!!! Couldn't have done it without my teammates, coaches,
family, or friends."
Acting Executive Director for Squash Canada, was in doubt of the
significance of his team's win: "We are
extremely proud of our young athletes and their coaches for their
standout achievements over the past week, especially from tonight. This
is a glowing golden moment for our broader Canadian Squash Community."
RESULTS: Pan American
Games Squash Championships, Toronto, Canada
Men's Team Championship
 MEXICO bt [3/4] USA 2/0
Arturo Salazar bt Chris Hanson 7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3,
Cesar Salazar bt Christopher Gordon 11-7, 5-11, 9-11,
11-5, 11-8 (57m)
 CANADA bt [3/4] ARGENTINA 2/1
Graeme Schnell lost to Rodrigo Pezzota 4-11, 11-8, 9-11,
Shawn Delierre bt Robertino Pezzota 11-4, 11-8, 12-10
Andrew Schnell bt Leandro Romiglio 11-7, 11-6, 11-2 (33m)
 CANADA bt  MEXICO 2/0
Andrew Schnell bt Eric Galvez 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
Shawn Delierre bt Cesar Salazar 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7
Women's Team Championship
 USA bt [5/6] COLOMBIA 2/0
Natalie Grainger bt Karol Gonzalez 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (16m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Catalina Pelaez 11-4, 11-6, 11-0 (16m)
 CANADA bt [3/4] MEXICO 3/0
Nikki Todd bt Karla Urrutia 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (19m)
Samantha Cornett bt Samantha Teran 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9
Hollie Naughton bt Diana Garcia 12-10, 11-5
 USA bt  CANADA 2/1
Olivia Blatchford bt Hollie Naughton 11-4, 12-10, 11-8
Amanda Sobhy bt Samantha Cornett 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 (28m)
Natalie Grainger lost to Nikki Todd 9-11 ret.
PanAm images courtesy
of Paige Stewart