Games-Brazilian Pan-Am soccer failure taints golden Sunday


Mon, 24 Oct 05:04:00 2011

Brazil's golden Sunday at the Pan-American Games was tainted by their young soccer team's 3-1 defeat by Costa Rica that led to a group stage exit.

Successes for the Brazilians ranged from the women's marathon and handball in Guadalajara to men's triathlon and yachting on the Pacific coast.

Adriana da Silva won the marathon on the streets of Guadalajara in a Games record time of two hours 36 minutes 37 seconds and the women's handball team beat neighbours Argentina 33-15 in the gold medal match and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games.

At the Pacific Ocean resort of Puerto Vallarta, 330 kilometres east of the Games' central venue city, Reinaldo Colucci won the men's triathlon while the sailing team took three gold medals.

Windsurfers Patricia Freitas and Ricardo Santos, the 2007 world champion known to his compatriots as Bimba, swept all before them including fancied Argentine Mariano Reutemann in the men's, while Matheus Dellagnello won the non-Olympic Sunfish class.

The Brazilians also beat Argentina 10-8 in a preliminary round men's waterpolo game but the blot on their copybook on Sunday night was their mainly under-21 soccer team's early exit after two draws and a defeat.

However, this was not the strong team Brazil plan to take to London next year to attempt to win the Olympic gold medal, the one big international title they lack.

Brazil's medals tally stood at 26 gold and 68 overall in second place to the United States (57/156).


Sunfish World Champion Matheus, known by his first name, told Reuters he had enjoyed a carefree victory in the 11th and final race in his class having already clinched the gold medal on Saturday.

"It was a different, fun regatta," said the 23-year-old from the southern Brazilian seaside resort of Florianopolis, who began sailing when he was seven.

He is missing the Sailing World Championships in Australia in December, which is the qualifying competition for next year's Olympic Games in London, to begin his transition to Laser which he plans to race in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"My next step is to focus on Rio 2016. I'm not the right biotype for Laser so I'll do some gym work to build up my body to concentrate on taking part in Laser at home in 2016," he said.

"London is on top of us, the gap is too short to in terms of my physique to get there. I'll concentrate on the whole Olympic cycle and go all out for a medal in 2016."

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