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16/07/2007
PAN AMERICAN GAMES
 

Galvez & Grainger Grab First-Time Pan Am Games Golds

Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Men's 1st round:

Roberto Pezzota (ARG) bt Luis Hernandes (VEN) 9-4, 9-0, 9-2

Jose Manuel Elias (PER) bt Diego Asturias (GUA) 9-4, 9-1, 9-1

Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Mauricio Dasso (PER) 9-5, 9-0, 9-1

Ronivaldo Santos (BRA) bt Rodrigo Pezzota (ARG) 9-6, 9-2, 9-2
 

2nd round:

[1] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Ricardo Weisskopf (ESA) 9-0, 9-2, 9-1 (28m)

[5/8] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Roberto Pezzota (ARG) 9-2, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4

[3/4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Jose Paulo Mendez (GUA) 9-2, 9-0, 9-3

[5/8] Rafael F Alarcon (BRA) bt Jose Manuel Elias (PER) 9-2, 9-3, 9-7

[5/8] Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 9-7, 10-8, 5-9, 9-5

[3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Francisco Valecillo (VEN) 9-1, 9-5, 9-0 (23m)

[5/8] Bernardo Samper (COL) bt Ronivaldo Santos (BRA) 9-3, 9-4, 2-9, 9-6

[2] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Nelson Coronado (ESA) 9-1, 9-0, 9-0
 

Quarter-finals:

[5/8] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt [1] Shahier Razik (CAN) 9-3, 9-6, 9-6 (58m)

[3/4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5/8] Rafael F Alarcon (BRA) 4-9, 9-1, 9-7, 9-5 (76m)

[3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [5/8] Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX) 9-7, 9-3, 7-9, 9-3 (70m)

[2] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt [5/8] Bernardo Samper (COL) 9-6, 9-5, 9-2 (44m)
 

    Semi-finals:

[5/8] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt [3/4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 9-7, 4-9, 8-10, 9-1, 9-6 (95m)

[2] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt [3/4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 9-3, 9-3, 9-7 (44m)

 

Men's final:

[2] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt [5/8] Julian Illingworth (USA)  9-0, 9-4, 9-7 (41m)

 

Women's 1st round:

Michelle Quibell (USA) bt [5/8] Luz Etchechoury (ARG) 9-0, 9-3, 9-1

[5/8] Karen Redfern (BRA) bt Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) 9-0, 9-5, 9-2

[5/8] Alana Miller (CAN) bt Isabel Restrepo (COL) 9-4, 9-3, 9-0

[5/8] Silvia Angulo Rugeles (COL) bt Antonella Falcione (ARG) 9-4, 9-4, 9-6
 

Quarter-finals:

[1] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt Michelle Quibell (USA) 9-2, 9-2, 9-2 (17m)

[3/4] Runa Reta (CAN) bt [5/8] Karen Redfern (BRA) 9-2, 9-3, 9-2 (23m)

[5/8] Alana Miller (CAN) bt [3/4] Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 9-0, 9-0, 9-5 (24m)

[2] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [5/8] Silvia Angulo Rugeles (COL) 9-4, 9-1, 9-2 (28m)
 

Semi-finals:

[1] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt [3/4] Runa RetPAN AM GAMESa (CAN) 9-3, 9-5, 9-0 (17m)

[5/8] Alana Miller (CAN) bt [2] Samantha Teran (MEX) 10-8, 9-3, 3-9, 6-9, 9-1 (79m)
 

Women's final:

[1] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt [5/8] Alana Miller (CAN)       9-1, 9-0, 9-1 (20m)

 

Galvez & Grainger Grab First-Time Pan Am Games Golds

USA's Natalie Grainger and Mexican Eric Galvez celebrated Pan American Games squash gold for the first time after decisive straight games victories in the individual finals at the Miécimo da Silva Complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

After becoming a US citizen in February this year, it was a maiden appearance in the event for Natalie Grainger, the former world No1 who was born in England and raised in South Africa.  But the 30-year-old from Washington DC was in sparkling form from the outset, taking just 34 minutes to ease past both her quarter-final and semi-final opposition.

 

Top seed Grainger's surprise opponent in the women's final was Canada's Alana Miller, a 5/8 seed who produced sensational performances in the quarter-finals and semi-finals to oust higher-seeded players - in the semis upsetting second-seeded Mexican Samantha Teran in a 79-minute marathon.

 

But Miller's brave endeavours had clearly taken their toll as the two-times Canadian National champion from Winnipeg went down 9-1, 9-0, 9-1 to Grainger, ranked 36 places higher in the world, in 20 minutes.

 

"It is awesome to win this – I’m really, really excited to win a gold medal for the United States," said Grainger.  "I know I was the No1 seed and I was expected to win, but it feels great to actually produce the goods.  This is a tournament I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.  I’m really, really pleased to be able to do it."

 

Grainger's gold success marks the latest chapter in a remarkable year for the world No5 who won her first US Nationals title within weeks of becoming a US citizen, and went on to collect four WISPA World Tour titles on her new 'home soil' to date.  Grainger's Rio run extends her unbeaten sequence against international opposition to 15 matches!

 

With one victory and four final appearances in previous Pan American Championships, Eric Galvez was determined to bring gold - for the first time both for himself and his country - in the Pan Am Games.

 

The 23-year-old second seed from Puebla reached the final without dropping a game - ending Canada's hopes of maintaining their all-time hold on the men's gold medal by beating 3/4 seed Shawn Delierre in the semi-finals.

 

But his surprise opponent in the final was USA's Julian Illingworth, a 5/8 seed who stunned the Rio crowd by despatching Canadian favourite and defending gold medallist Shahier Razik in the quarter-finals. 

 

Within hours of this historic victory, the three-times US national champion from Portland battled to a 9-7, 4-9, 8-10, 9-1, 9-6 semi-final win over Colombia's 3/4 seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez in 95 minutes!

 

A third heroic victory was not to be, however, as Galvez forged his 9-0, 9-4, 9-7 gold win in 41 minutes, leaving Illingworth to enjoy his unexpected silver success.

 

"The caliber of play and excitement for squash during these Games has just been incredible so far - and has showcased the sport very well in as high a profile way possible," said Kevin Klipstein, CEO of US Squash.

 

"We're obviously pleased with our results and very proud of Natalie and Julian.  Natalie's addition to our team has lifted the quality of competition to an entirely new level, and she has added such a positive spirit to the US squad. Julian's back-to-back upsets to earn his place in the finals are certainly historic, and we believe foreshadow even greater things to come for him and US Squash."

 

USA On Course For Unique Pan Am Games Double

A sensational run by 5/8 seed Julian Illingworth leaves USA on course for a unique gold double in the individual Squash event at the Pan American Games at the Miécimo da Silva Complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

The three-times US national champion from Portland made his breakthrough in the men's quarter-finals where he despatched Canada's top seed Shahier Razik, the title-holder, 9-3, 9-6, 9-6 in 58 minutes.

 

Illingworth maintained his focus in the semi-finals later in the day when he fought back from 2/1 down to beat Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, a 3/4 seed, 9-7, 4-9, 8-10, 9-1, 9-6 in a 95-minute marathon - the longest match in the competition.

 

Illingworth, the first American to reach a men's Pan Am Games final, will face second seed Eric Galvez for the gold medal.  The 23-year-old from Puebla became the first Mexican to make the final after defeating Canada's 3/4 seed Shawn Delierre 9-3, 9-3, 9-7. 

 

The win ended Canada's hopes of maintaining their grip on the men's gold medal for a fourth term after winning all championships since Squash first became part of the Games in 1995 in Argentina.

 

Natalie Grainger is firm favourite for gold in the women's event after two 17-minute victories in the quarter and semi-finals.  Playing in her first event since celebrating her 30th birthday earlier in the month, the top seed from Washington DC brushed aside US team-mate Michelle Quibell 9-2, 9-2, 9-2, then Canada's 3/4 seed Runa Reta 9-3, 9-5, 9-0.

 

"It's really exciting to be only one win away from the gold medal," said Grainger, who became a US citizen in February.  "I'm having a great time competing for the US for the first time.  I can't wait for that match in the finals."

 

Grainger's opponent will be Canada's 5/8 seed Alana Miller - who followed her quarter-final upset over Brazil's 3/4 seed Thaisa Serafini by battling to a 10-8, 9-3, 3-9, 6-9, 9-1 victory over second-seeded Mexican Samantha Teran in 79 minutes.