Canada continues to lead medal standings at Pam Am games with 16 medals on Day 2
TORONTO — Canada came flying out of the gates at the 2015 Pan American Games with eight medals on opening day.
It turned out that Day 2 was twice as good.
Canadian athletes raked in 16 medals, including six gold, in Sunday's Pan Am action.
With 10 gold, eight silver and six bronze, Canada led all nations in both gold and overall medals.
The United States was second with seven gold and 19 total medals. Mexico was third in the overall medal standings with 18, while Colombia was third in the gold medal standings with six.
Canada's cyclists got the ball rolling early in the day. Emily Batty, of Brooklin, Ont., and Catharine Pendrel of Harvey Station, N.B., finished one-two in the women's mountain biking competition, while Raphael Gagne of Quebec City won the men's race.
Calgary's Lynda Kiejko won the women's 10-metre air pistol, then Canada swept the gold medals in rugby sevens competition.
Later, Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., dominated the competition in the women's three-metre springboard, with Montreal teammate Pamela Ware taking silver.
In the women's mountain bike, Batty finished the race in one hour 27 minutes 13 seconds — seven seconds faster than Pendrel.
"It's really just pushing each other," Batty said. "It doesn't matter who's first on the day as long as it's a Canadian. So we got gold and silver, which was amazing."
Pendrel, who won gold in the event at the 2007 Rio Games, is known for setting a strong early pace and hoping others can't match it. Batty showed she was up for the challenge.
"Emily and I are really motivated by each other," Pendrel said. "We don't just want to be the best at this race, we want to be the best in the world. You be the best in the world by pushing the most that you can out of your riding and I think we did that today."
Gagne finished the men's six-lap race in 1:31:14.
"I think I played it very smart," Gagne said. "I paced myself well, I drank well and I ate well and it played into my favour. I've always been able to start strong but sometimes my finishes were not as strong. But definitely today I finished really, really strong so I'm happy with this."
Kiejko scored 195.7 to win the air pistol and finish ahead of Mexico's Alejandra Zavala and Lilian Castro of El Salvador.
It was Kiejko's second Pan Am medal. She captured bronze in the same event in 2003.
"This gold medal is especially sweet for me," said Kiejko, who comes from a family of shooters. "Four years ago, my sister won the gold medal in Guadalajara in the same event. It's pretty awesome."
Canada crushed the United States 55-7 to win the inaugural Pan Am women's rugby title. The men later made it a Canadian sweep, coming back to beat Argentina 22-19 and defend the Pan Am title they won in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011.
"There's definitely more great days for this team," women's captain Jen Kish said. "Every time we put on the Canadian jersey we want to give the best performance that we can. We're always cup-hunting. We always want to be the best that we can be so you can expect many more trophies from us building towards Rio."
Abel easily won the springboard gold medal with a personal best score of 384.70. Ware, who took home silver, was a distant second, finishing 58.70 points behind.
"It's amazing. I've never seen her dive that well," Ware said of Abel. "This was her day. She was amazing."
Abel's performance was highlighted by her impressive third dive, which earned her a score of 86.7.
"I was just really confident and I was just telling myself that, no matter what, you have to nail the entry," she said. "That's what I went for and being able to score that high on that dive, that's going to (put) me on another level and I'm really happy about that for tonight.
Canada's equestrian team earned a silver medal in team dressage, narrowly losing out to the United States.
In artistic gymnastics, a sixth-overall performance from Halifax native Ellie Black led Canada to a sliver medal in the women's team event.
Canadian judokas added three medals, with Antoine Bouchard of Jonquiere, Que., winning silver in the men's 66-kilogram event, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, of St-Hubert, Que., taking silver in women's 57 kg and Montreal's Arthur Margelidon earning bronze in the men's 73 kg.
In squash, Ottawa's Sam Cornett and Montreal's Shawn Delierre picked up bronze medals after losing their semifinal matches.
Montreal's Francis Luna-Grenier earned Canada's first weightlifting medal of these Games with a bronze in the men's 69-kilogram event.
The day came with some disappointment as Canada failed to medal in the men's triathlon. It's the first time in Pan Am Games history Canada hasn't won a triathlon medal.
Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., was the top Canadian finisher in seventh place.
In open water swimming, Richard Weinberger of Moose Jaw, Sask., led the men's 10-kilometre event for most of the race before slipping to fourth. It was a disappointing finish for Weinberger, who entered the race as the defending Pan Am champion and won the bronze medal in the discipline at the 2012 London Games.
In baseball, defending champion Canada improved to 2-0 with a 10-3 win over Colombia. Canada also won its opening softball match, 10-5 over Mexico.
In water polo, Canada beat Cuba 14-7 to set up a gold-medal showdown with the United States on Tuesday.
In men's soccer, Canada opened with a 4-1 loss to Brazil.
The Canadian Press