Pan Am Games

August 15, 1991


.. .. .. .. .. .. G .. .S .. B .. Tot

United States .. ..113 ..110 ..77 .. 300

Cuba .. .. .. .. ..116 .. 59 ..57 .. 232

Canada .. .. .. .. .17 .. 33 ..48 .. .98

Mexico .. .. .. .. .15 .. 19 ..33 .. .67

Brazil .. .. .. .. .18 .. 15 ..31 .. .64

Argentina .. .. .. ..4 .. 11 ..23 .. .38

Colombia .. .. .. .. 3 .. 13 ..16 .. .32

Venezuela .. .. .. ..3 .. 11 ..17 .. .31

Puerto Rico .. .. .. 2 .. .4 .. 7 .. .13

Dominican Rep .. .. .0 .. .5 .. 4 .. ..9


* Two Brazilian victories, including an upset of the United States' top two seeded swimmers in the men's 200-meter backstroke, and a victory by 6-foot-5 Costa Rican Sylvia Poll slowed the American dominance at the East Havana pool complex.

The U.S. women salvaged the day with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay and a 1-2 finish by Jane Skillman of Princeton, N.J., and Barb Metz of Casper, Wyo., in the 400 freestyle.

Gustavo Borges, one of Brazil's two winners, criticized the United States for sending its top swimmers to the coming Pan Pacific Games instead of Havana.

"It diminishes the Games," Borges said. "The Pan American Games should be for the best swimmers in the continent."

Even with a roster made up of less than the best in the United States, the Americans had predicted a near-sweep in swimming. They won all but one race in the first two days of competition before losing three yesterday.

"We had such a great two days, our swimmers thought all they had to do was show up," U.S. men's coach Joe Bernal said. "This will get them back on course."

The biggest U.S. disappointment was in the men's 200 backstroke, where Brazilian Rogerio Romero, 21, rallied from fourth place midway through the race and won in 2 minutes 1.07 seconds. Dan Veatch, a former Olympian from Boca Raton, Fla., and teammate Brad Bridgewater of Longwood, Fla., were seeded 1-2 but finished second and fourth.

Brazil's other victory also was a surprise. Borges, 18, set a Pan Am Games 100 freestyle record of 49.48-- his best time by more than a second. Joel Thomas of Pasadena, Calif., who attends California, won the silver medal. He finished more than a second behind Borges, who trains in Florida and plans to enroll at the University of Michigan this fall.

The defeat was the first in the event for the United States in Pan Am Games.

The U.S. men lost only 13 races in the first 10 Pan American Games, dating to 1951. They have lost three times in the last two days.

Poll, a former Olympian and the defending Pan Am Games champion in the 100 backstroke, won another gold with a time of 1:03.15. Jodi Wilson of Plano, Texas, was third.

"Not everyone believed in me," Poll said. "I knew Wilson was going to be very good."

Skillman earned her second gold medal this week by winning the 400 freestyle in 4:13.69. Metz, a Stanford graduate competing in the final race of her career, was second in 4:16.90. She collected a gold and two silvers at Havana.

The U.S. relay team of Megan Oesting of Mercer Island, Wash., Suzy Buckovich of Spring Grove, Pa., Lisa Jacob of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Ashley Tappin of Metaire, La., was an easy winner in 3:48.88.


* The U.S. women won the epee gold medal, out-pointing Cuba and Mexico. The team was led by Margo Miller of Santa Monica, Calif., Donna Stone of Belleville, N.J., Cathy McClellan of Marblehead, Mass., Laurel Clark Skillman of San Francisco and Elaine Cheris of Denver.

Cheris, 45, and Miller, 42, were the only U.S. women fencers over 40 years old at the Pan Am Games. Cheris was a two-time Olympian, and Miller has participated in every U.S. championship since 1974.


* Jamaica's women defeated Cuba, 2-0, for fifth place in competition at Antonio Maceo Sports Complex in Santiago de Las Vegas, near Havana. Trinidad defeated Barbados, 4-2, for seventh place.


* Natalie Williams, a volleyball and basketball star from UCLA, had 19 kills at Ramon Fonst Hall, but it was not nearly enough to stop Brazil from defeating the United States, 15-10, 10-15, 15-6, 15-2 in women's play.

The United States, a dismal 1-3 with a team of mostly collegiate all-stars such as Williams, must defeat Canada (1-3) today to earn the fourth berth in the medal round.

Peru, leading the competition with Cuba with 4-0 records, shut out Argentina, 15-1, 15-5, 15-8. Cuba routed Canada, 15-8, 15-9, 15-8.

In men's action, Brazil beat Puerto Rico, 15-10, 15-11, 15-7, and Argentina defeated Canada, 15-7, 11-15, 15-12, 15-10.

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