World champion Murer settles for silver at Pan Am Games
Guadalajara: World pole vault champion Fabiana Murer failed to defend her Pan American Games title on Monday.
The Brazilian vaulter, who won gold in August at the world championships in South Korea, ended up with the silver medal behind Yarisley Silva of Cuba.
"I came here for the gold, of course, but I'm not disappointed. I knew that I had peaked at the worlds," Murer said. "The Cuban really deserved this, she really elevated her level today."
Silva won the gold after clearing a Pan American Games record 4.75 metres. Murer, who set the previous record of 4.60 four years ago in Rio de Janeiro, was second with a height of 4.70.
"It's magnificent to beat the world champion and win the gold," Silva said. "I didn't expect to be contending like this so soon. It shows how much I've been improving."
Cubans won three of the five gold medals at the track on day ten of the Pan American Games, while Mexican runners claimed the other two.
Yipsi Moreno set a Pan American Games record in winning the women's hammer throw. The Cuban's toss of 75.62 metres broke her own record of 75.60 from the last games in Rio.
"These may be my last Pan American Games and I'm proud I'm leaving my sports career like this," Moreno said.
Also, Jorge Fernandez of Cuba won the men's discus, while Marisol Romero of Mexico won the women's 10,000 metres and team-mate Juan Barrios won the men's 5,000.
Argentina won the final gold medal of the night, beating Brazil 26-23 in the final.
Overall, the United States increased its lead at the top of the medals table to 62 gold and 165 in total. Brazil is next with 27 gold and 75 overall.
In baseball, ten-time defending champion Cuba lost to the United States 12-10 in the semifinals.
Never give up
The Americans, who won their only Pan Am Games title in 1967, led 7-0 in the fourth inning and soon stretched that to 12-2 before the Cubans came back to make it close.
"This is the fifth time I've played Cuba, and we finally beat them," said US shortstop Jordy Mercer, who doubled in two runs in the fourth inning. "I told the guys that Cuba will never give up and to keep battling, and sure enough they came back. It's just a credit to this team that we kept fighting."
Cuba has won 12 of the 15 baseball titles at the Pan Am Games, including every one between 1971 and 2007. The US has finished second to Cuba eight times.
The Americans faced Canada in yesterday's final. The Canadians beat Mexico 5-3 in the other semifinal game.
The US also won the women's team all-around in gymnastics, while Jordan Burroughs took gold in the men's 74 kilogram freestyle wrestling category and Jacob Varner won the 96 kilogram class. Weston Kelsey later won the men's epee and Lee Kiefer won the women's individual foil.
But the biggest surprise, besides the Cuban loss in baseball, was Murer's failure to win the pole vault.
"I prepared for the worlds and I won it. I knew it would be difficult here," said Murer, adding she wasn't in top shape. "Each competition is different."