July 11, 2015 / 11:56 PM / 4 years ago

Mexico's Pacheco wins springboard gold, earns Rio berth

Rommel Pacheco of Mexico competes in the men's 3m springboard final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO (Reuters) - Mexico’s Rommel Pacheco won the gold medal in men’s 3m springboard at the Pan American Games on Saturday to earn an automatic qualifying spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Pacheco, who competed at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, capped a polished series of dives with his most difficult, a forward 4-1/2 somersault, to score a total 483.35 points.

The silver medal went to Mexico’s Jahir Ocampo (442.15) while Canada’s Philippe Gagne (421.20).took bronze.

The men’s 3m springboard is among a handful of disciplines in 10 sports at the July 10-26 Pan Am Games that offer athletes a chance to secure a spot in the Rio Olympics, which are scheduled for Aug. 5-21 next year.

Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Gene Cherry

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