Pan American Games
Not even the great Mark Spitz was as dominant at the Pan American Games as Brazilian sensation Thiago Pereira.
Pereira broke the 40-year-old record of the American star with six swimming gold medals in one Pan Ams.
On Saturday, Pereira won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke to earn his sixth gold. He finished the race in 2 minutes 13.51 seconds, beating teammate Henrique Barbosa (2:13.83) and Scott Spann (2.13.98) of Austin, Texas, at the Maria Lank aquatic complex.
On Friday, Pereira won the 200 medley and took gold in the 400 freestyle relay even though he didn’t swim in the final. By swimming a leg in the qualifying race, he was entitled to a gold medal when the Brazilian team won the final.
Earlier in the Pan Ams, he won the 200 backstroke, the 400 individual medley and the 800 freestyle relay. He has set four Pan Am Games records in the pool here.
Pereira, ranked fourth in the world in the 200 medley, has a chance to win two more medals in Rio. He won a silver and a bronze at the 2003 Pan Ams in Santo Domingo.
If he wins the other two gold medals, he will tie swimmer Gustavo Borges, one of his role models, and table tennis player Hugo Hoyama as the Brazilians with the most golds in the history of the games.
“I won’t say that it’s mission accomplished until after I’m done with Sunday’s final,” Pereira said. “I’m beginning to feel tired from all the swimming this week, but I need to keep my focus.”
The U.S. women beat Chile, 4-1, to make the final of field hockey, where they will meet favorite Argentina, which won, 3-0, against Netherlands Antilles.
An Olympic berth awaits the winner of Tuesday’s game.
Against Chile, the Americans scored four times in a seven-minute span of the second half.
They got goals from Tiffany Snow, Angie Loy, Carrie Lingo and Keli Smith.
Ty Loomis of Newport Beach and Hans Stolfus of Costa Mesa topped Cubans Francisco Alvarez Cutino and Leonel Munder, 21-13, 17-21, 15-13, in the semifinals.
Loomis and Stolfus will face Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego in the gold medal match today.
Valerie Gotay, a 33-year-old mother of two from Temecula, took a silver behind Brazil’s Danielle Zangrando at 57 kilograms.
Winning gold for the U.S. men were Ryan Reser (73) and Travis Steves (81).
The U.S. men won the team gold when James Williams, Benjamin Igoe, Benjamin Ungar and Tim Hagamen beat Canada.
Cuba took the women’s event, beating the United States squad of Alexis Jemal, Emma Baratta, Eileen Grench and Hanna Thompson.