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Pan Am Games

July 20, 2007|KEVIN BAXTER

A review of what happened Thursday at Rio de Janeiro:

Badminton

Eva Lee of Orange will leave the Pan American Games with three gold medals, but that wasn't the only reason she was smiling after her final badminton match.

"I made a deal with my parents," she said. "If I get three golds they'll get me a new cellphone."

That doesn't compare with the generous cash awards badminton federations in other countries pay for gold medals, but it'll have to do.

"They get like $50,000 for winning. I get a new cellphone," said Lee, 20.

The parents of Howard Bach, who won silver in men's doubles and gold as Lee's mixed doubles teammate, will have to find another way to reward him. He already has a cellphone -- one with Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on speed dial.

Bach and Urlacher, along with Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, were recently featured in a badminton-themed commercial for a sports drink, and Bach says they still exchange text messages.

After his final match, Bach tamed an anti-U.S. crowd by serving shuttlecocks into the crowd and giving his uniform top to a fan, replacing it with a Brazilian shirt. The Brazilians rewarded Lee and Bach with a standing ovation during their medal ceremony.

The eight members of the U.S. badminton team -- all of whom live in Long Beach or Orange County -- combined to win 12 medals.

KEVIN BAXTER

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Baseball

The U.S. baseball team's gold-medal game against nine-time defending champion Cuba was postponed to today because of wet fields after torrential rains. The bronze medal will be shared by Mexico and Nicaragua.

Gymnastics

The Mexican women's gymnastics team was disqualified and stripped of its bronze medal after the Pan American Sports Organization ruled that Marisela Arizmendi Torres, enrolled as a delegation worker, had competed as an athlete. The organization expelled delegation chief Alejandro Peniche Franco from the Games and gave the bronze medal to Canada, which had finished fourth.

Rowing

The U.S. men's eight won gold, taking a two-second lead in the first 500 meters and pulling away.

Swimming

Three more golds for the United States came in the swimming pool.

Julia Smit (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) led the American onslaught with gold in the 100-meter backstroke, and Michelle McKeehan (Franklin, Ind.) won the 100 breaststroke, with Elizabeth Tinnon of Bowling Green, Ky., third.

Smit also anchored the U.S. team that edged Brazil in the 400 freestyle relay, winning gold by less than one second. She was joined on the relay by Sam Woodward (Edmond, Okla.), Emily Kukors (Auburn, Wash.) and Maritza Correia (Valrico, Fla).

Americans have won 18 swimming medals.

Other team sports

The U.S. women earned a bronze by beating Peru, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22, in volleyball, led by Foluke Akinradewo of Plantation, Fla., and Tayyiba Haneef of Laguna Hills each with 12 kills. Then Cuba stunned Brazil in a thrilling five-setter to take the gold medal.

In total medals, the United States leads with 99, including 38 gold. Cuba is second with 20 gold, and overall Brazil and Canada are tied for second in total medals with 48.

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