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Pan American Games

A review of what happened on Tuesday at Rio de Janeiro:

July 18, 2007|KEVIN BAXTER

Baseball

Heavy rains overnight left the two fields at the Pan American Games baseball complex unplayable Tuesday, forcing Team USA into a doubleheader today in an attempt to qualify for Thursday's title game.

In the first game the U.S. will face Brazil, which needs a win to advance out of pool play. The U.S. has already qualified for the semifinals and will play today's second game against an opponent to be determined with a place in the gold-medal game on the line.

All that's just the latest in a string of unfortunate incidents that has beset the U.S. baseball team, which had a player punched by a spectator during Friday's opening ceremonies then had its opening game pushed back a day because the field's lights were installed incorrectly, leaving them usable for soccer but worthless for baseball.

Now it faces its toughest task: after playing twice in the first three days of the Pan Am tournament, Team USA will have to play three games -- weather permitting -- in less than 36 hours to win a gold medal. And the Americans are likely to end that string against Cuba, which had Tuesday off and will play only once today.

"It's not fair. But you know what? It's what it is and we've got to deal with it," said U.S. Coach Mike Weathers of Long Beach State. "These guys have been unbelievable. They've never once cried about anything. I think what's motivated them is the gold medal. They'll do whatever they've got to do to win a gold medal."

The U.S. already has wins over the Dominican Republic (5-1) and Nicaragua (8-4).

-- KEVIN BAXTER

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Shooting

Tom Tamas of Pittsview, Ala., and Jason Turner of Rush, N.Y., each took gold. The veteran Tamas, 42, beat teammate Michael McPhail of Darlington, Wis., in the 50-meter rifle prone competition. Turner added the 10-meter air pistol title to his 50-meter pistol win the previous day. Thomas Rose of Central Point, Ore., took bronze in air pistol.

Thanks to his second-place finish behind Tamas, McPhail earned a Beijing Olympic shooting berth for the United States. Tamas already had earned one at the World Cup.

Although Turner added the 10-meter air pistol gold to his 50-meter pistol win the previous day, the Olympic slot went to Brazil, which got a silver from Julio Almeida. Turner won a Beijing slot on Monday and was ineligible to do again

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Swimming

The United States and Brazil each won two gold medals.

American women were dominant, led by Kathleen Hersey of Atlanta, who won the 400-meter individual medley, and Jessica Rodriguez (Aurora, Colo.), who took the 400 freestyle.

Brazil's men were just as impressive. In the 400 IM, Thiago Pereira, ranked fourth in the world, beat Robert Margalis (Flushing, N.Y.) for the gold. Then Pereira helped Brazil take the 800 relay over the U.S. team.

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Rowing

The Canadian men's pair of Chris Jarvis and Dan Casaca won gold, beating Americans Daniel Beery (Oaktown, Ind.), and Patrick O'Dunne (Nazareth, Pa.). Chile's Soraya Jadue and Maria Jose Orellana won the women's pairs. The lightweight double sculls was won by Cubans Eyder Batista and Yunior Perez, followed by Rich Montgomery (Batavia, Ill.), and Andrew Liverman (Washington).

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Field hockey

Angie Loy (Loysville, Pa.) and Kelly Doton (Greenfield, Mass.) scored two goals each to lead the U.S. women's team over Cuba 7-0, earning a spot in the semifinals.

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Others

Maria del Rosario Espinoza gave Mexico's women their fourth gold medal of the Games and their third in taekwondo with an sudden-death overtime victory over Brazil's Natalia Silva in a bout that ended with both women in tears -- Espinoza for having won and Silva for having blown a one-point lead with 33 seconds left in regulation. Angela Medina of Colombia won the women's 69-kilogram weightlifting class.

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From Times staff and wire reports

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