With the 16-day Pan American Games yet to reach the midway point, the U.S. bulldozed its way past 100 total medals, but did not win the...

Share story

Pan Am Games |

RIO DE JANEIRO — With the 16-day Pan American Games yet to reach the midway point, the U.S. bulldozed its way past 100 total medals, but did not win the gold it coveted perhaps more than any other, falling to bitter rivals Cuba 3-1 in the baseball title game on Friday.

After a waterlogged field forced the postponement of Thursday’s scheduled final, the U.S. said it was prepared to forfeit the gold if the title game could not be completed on Friday due to a commitment to play China on July 22.

The Cubans, however, did not need any gifts from the U.S., riding the pitching of Adiel Palma and the hitting of Alexander Mayeta and Osmani Urrutia to the country’s 12th gold in 15 Pan Am Games.

It marked the ninth time that the U.S. has been forced to settle for silver, having stood top the podium just once.

“There’s a rivalry between the two teams, every time we face each other they play their best and we play our best,” said Cuba manager Rey Vincente Anglada. “It’s always a pleasure to face each other because it is always a battle.”

Thiago Pereira swam away with two more gold medals on Friday, securing his status as the undisputed star of the Pan American Games and a place in Brazilian sporting history.

Pereira has outshone the Americans at the Maria Lenk pool, touching home first in five events for the most golds by any Brazilian athlete at a single Pan Am Games.

The five golds also ties the amount won by legendary U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz at the 1967 Pan Ams in Winnipeg.

American swimmers earned four more gold medals, including the third of the games for Julia Swit, when she took the 200-meter individual medley. The silver went to Emily Kukors of Auburn.

Weston Kelsey of Brush Prairie, Cody Mattern and Benjamin Ungar combined to win the bronze medal in team epee fencing.

The U.S. topped the podium in five events while pushing its medal total to 110.

In another pool across Rio, the U.S. dropped Canada 6-4 to take gold in the women’s water polo and qualify for a spot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.