TORONTO (Reuters) - Natalie Coughlin gave a jolt to the Pan American Games on Tuesday but the decorated U.S. swimmer suffered a surprising defeat while Cuba earned more kayaking gold.
Defending champion Canada then beat Cuba in a marquee baseball game to improve to 4-0 while Peruvian Francisco Boza Dibos, 50, qualified for his eighth Olympics by winning the men’s trap shooting final.
Coughlin, a 12-times Olympic medalist, was expected to swim away with a gold medals in the women’s 100m freestyle and 4x100 freestyle relay but she settled for silver in each.
The 32-year-old American set a Pan Am record during her 100 heat but was stunned by Canadian 20-year-old Chantal Van Landeghem in the final where her 53.83 pipped the Pan Am mark set earlier by Coughlin.
In the relay final, Coughlin began her anchor leg with a slim lead but could not hang on as Van Landeghem again denied the Americans.
After the race, Coughlin discussed her competitive future.
“I know I have a few years left in me. I love competing, and I want to keep representing my country,” said Coughlin.
“But I need to be realistic. It’s not going to happen forever. I just want to enjoy it and see what happens in the next year.”
Canada delivered another dominant rowing display as they grabbed gold in women’s single sculls and lightweight double sculls as well as the men’s quadruple sculls as part of a 23-medal day for the host nation.
Canada have 25 gold, 22 silver and 17 bronze, which tops all nations in gold and overall medals. The United States, a Pan Am powerhouse, are second with 19 gold medals (60 total), followed by Cuba and Colombia, who have 14 golds each.
Cuban kayaker Yusamari Mengana became the first woman and second athlete to win three golds at the July 10-26 Games.
Her triumph in the women’s K1 200m and K2 500m came a day after fellow kayaker and compatriot Jorge Garcia won his third gold.
Cuba, who won every baseball gold medal at the quadrennial games between 1971 and 2007 before a third-place finish in 2011, were dealt a blow in their hopes of reclaiming the gold medal.
By falling 3-1 to Canada, Cuba slipped to fourth in the seven-team competition where the top four advance to the semis.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury