Thu, Jul 26, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Brazil's Hugo Hoyama makes Pan Ams history


Brazil's table tennis team members throw teammate Hugo Hoyama in the air after his victory against Argentina's Pablo Tabachnik in their Pan American Games table tennis gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Tuesday.


Hugo Hoyama's ninth gold medal in table tennis made him the most successful Brazilian athlete in Pan American Games history on Tuesday, and helped the host tally a record 30 golds.

Hoyama surpassed former swimmer Gustavo Borges when Brazil beat Argentina 3-1 in the teams table tennis final, with Hoyama winning the fourth and clinching rubber.

"Without a doubt, this is the greatest achievement of my life," Hoyama said. "From all the nine medals, this one is the best. But I'll still try to win my 10th."

Brazil's 30th gold surpassed its best previous Pan Ams performance in Santo Domingo four years ago.

It also kept Brazil within three golds of Cuba overall. The US remains comfortably ahead with 69.

One of the US' gold medals on Tuesday came from Mikele Barber in the 100m women's final. Her 11.02 seconds broke Evelyn Ashford's 1979 Pan Ams record of 11.05. Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles won the men's race in 10.15.

Canada's Dylan Armstrong was first in the men's shot put with 20.10 meters, and Irving Saladino won Panama's first gold ever in athletics in the men's long jump with 8.28.

The women's 800m was won by Canada's Diane Cummins in 1 minute, 59.75 seconds.

In women's basketball, the US outscored Brazil 30-13 in the fourth quarter for a 79-66 win and its first Pan Ams title since 1987.

"Brazil has a good team and had the crowd behind them, so we had to do something," said Mattee Ajavon after she scored 24 second-half points and led all scorers with 27.

The match in front of 13,200 fans at Multisport Arena marked the retirement of 38-year-old Janeth, whose 21-year career was highlighted by the world championship title with Brazil in 1994 and the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Janeth, who scored 14 points and left the court crying, competed alongside stars Paula and Hortencia on the team that won the 1991 Pan Ams. The crowd chanted Janeth's name and held banners saying "Don't go Janeth" and "Thank You Janeth."

"It's sad to leave with the silver instead of the gold," she said. "But this doesn't erase all the good memories I've had in the sport."

Cuba beat Canada 62-49 for the bronze.

In men's soccer, Jamaica beat Mexico 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation to advance to a final against Ecuador, which beat Bolivia 1-0. Defending champion Brazil and Argentina were eliminated in the first round of the under-20 tournament.

Brazil routed Cuba in three sets in men's volleyball, and the US passed Argentina by the same score.

Argentina beat the US 4-2 to win the women's field hockey title and a spot in next year's Beijing Olympics.

The Netherlands Antilles beat Chile 2-1 for bronze.

Earlier, world champion Jaquess Regina of the US won the women's water skiing jump, beating Canada's Whitney McClintock and American Mandy Nightingale. On Monday, McClintock beat Jaquess in the slalom competition.

Canada's Jaret Llewellyn won the men's jump, ahead of countryman Ryan Dodd and Chile's Rodrigo Miranda.

In futsal, Brazil routed Cuba 8-0 behind three goals by Falcao. Paraguay beat Guatemala 2-1, and Costa Rica drew 1-1 with Argentina.

Rain and strong winds continued to plague the Pan Ams, delaying tennis matches and putting the softball tournament in jeopardy.

The softball is already two days late and organizers are considering changing the format so it can be completed before the closing ceremonies on Sunday.

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