TORONTO (Reuters) - The United States won the inaugural women’s baseball competition at the Pan American Games on Sunday, while Uruguay beat defending champion Mexico in the men’s soccer final on the closing day of competition.
Ecuador’s Andres Chocho, who battled both laryngitis and a stomach problem over the last three weeks, led a Latin American sweep of the podium in the men’s 50km walk as he crossed in a season-best three hours, 50 minutes and 13 seconds.
Guatemala’s Erick Barrondo claimed silver while Mexico’s Horacio Nava took bronze in steamy conditions.
”This is a reward for a long, long journey for many years of really hard work,” said Chocho.
“The heat was (a factor) for every one of us. I can handle it really well. I‘m really happy to do that because I really like to compete in this kind of event.”
The United States dominated the medals table, finishing first with 103 gold and 265 overall after 16 days of competition in 36 sports between countries from North America, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean.
Canada were second with 78 gold and 217 overall followed by Brazil with 41 gold and 141 total.
The U.S. women helped avenge their male counterparts’ wild extra-innings loss to Canada in the men’s baseball final by routing the hosts 11-3 for the gold medal.
“When you play the U.S., you can’t make any mistake,” said Andre Lachance, manager of the Canadian women’s baseball team. “To their credit, they played a better game today.”
The same countries met in the women’s softball final, but Canada prevailed in that game with a 4-2 win.
Mexico beat the United States 2-0 in both the men’s and women’s team racquetball finals, giving them four of the six gold medals handed out in the sport at the Pan Am Games.
In the men’s soccer final, Uruguay got a goal from Brian Lozano off a direct kick in the 11th minute and then held on for a 1-0 win over defending Pan Am champion Mexico.
”This medal is such a unique thing for football in Uruguay and for this jersey,“ said Lozano. ”For me this is a dream, a unique moment that I will remember with the national team. I‘m glad to have really enjoyed it. We leave as a champion.
“It’s true that Uruguay is a small country but we always give a lot of effort for soccer.”
Editing by Larry Fine