U.S. bumps Canada from top of Pan Am medals table
By Steve Keating
TORONTO (Reuters) - The United States finally nudged Canada from top spot on the Pan American Games medal table on a sweltering Saturday that saw scorching conditions and sizzling performances.
As temperatures climbed into mid-30s Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) and officials issued a heat alert the red-hot Americans were piling up podiums across the city.
Laura Zeng, 15, won the rhythmic gymnastics all-around, 2012 Olympic champion Kim Rhode struck gold in the women's skeet, Khatuna Lorig hitting the bulls eye in women's individual archery and Paige Railey sailed away with gold in the women's laser radial.
But it was American swimmers who made the biggest splash, snatching three of six gold medals on offer on the last day of competition in the pool.
Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist and the Games' biggest name, finally got her first Pan Am gold helping the United States to victory in the 4x100m medley relay.
After settling for silver in the 100m free and 4x100m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 50m free, Coughlin saved her best for last, reaching the top of the podium in the final women's event.
"I had a really successful meet, I did exactly what I was set-up to do on my path next year to the Olympic Games," said Coughlin. "As a team, I think we did a really fantastic job. We kept building every single day and we got closer as a team and had a lot of fun swimming as well."
Allison Schmitt, winner of five medals at the 2012 London Olympics, was also part of the relay effort, collecting her third gold medal to go along with a silver. Continued...