Games-Ten athletes to watch at Pan Am Games

Reuters

July 8 (Reuters) - Ten athletes to watch at the July 10-26 Pan American Games in Toronto:

NATALIE COUGHLIN, U.S., swimming - The three-times Olympic gold medalist, 32, won the 800m freestyle relay gold and 100m backstroke in 2004 and defended her 100m backstroke title in 2008. Her 12 Olympic medals, which include a bronze in the 4100m freestyle relay at the 2012 London Games, tie her for the most all-time by an American woman.

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MARCUS VINICIUS D'ALMEIDA, Brazil, archery - The 17-year-old was the youngest athlete ever to qualify for a World Cup archery final last year and finished in second, a feat that won him the nickname "Archery's Neymar." He is competing in the Pan Ams for the first time.

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ANDRE DE GRASSE, Canada, athletics - A top medal hope for the home country, the 20-year-old sprinter drew global attention last month after completing a sizzling but wind-assisted 100-200 metres double by running 9.75 and 19.58 seconds at the U.S. collegiate championships.

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LORIE KANE, Canada, golf - The country's most recognizable women's golfer for well over a decade, Kane, 50, will compete for Canada when the sport makes its Pan Am debut. The four-time LPGA Tour winner from Charlottetown has picked up nearly $7 million in career earnings since her rookie season in 1996.

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SAM MIKULIK, U.S., gymnastics - The two-time reigning U.S. champion and 2012 Olympian, along with fellow Pan Am squad member Donnell Whittenburg, was a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. world championship team last year.

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PEDRO PABLO PICHARDO, Cuba, athletics - The 22-year-old Cuban has taken the triple jump by a storm, bounding to the third and fourth best leaps of all-time with his eye-catching marks of 18.06 and 18.08 metres in May. Many see the 2013 world silver medallist as a serious threat to Jonathan Edwards' 1995 world record

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KIM RHODE, U.S., shooting - The five-time Olympic medal winner is considered the most successful female shooter at the Summer Games with three gold medals and the only woman to twice win double trap. Her latest gold came in skeet shooting at the 2012 Games.

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ROBERT SCHEIDT, Brazil, sailing - The 42-year-old from Sao Paulo is one of Brazil's greatest ever Olympians. He has five Olympic medals, two of them gold and two silver, and has lifted 14 world titles, 11 in the laser class and three in the Star.

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JENN SUHR, U.S., athletics - The world indoor pole vault record holder and Olympic champion will be using the Games as preparation for August's world championships.

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ADAM VAN KOEVERDEN, Canada, kayak - One of Canada's most celebrated athletes since bursting onto the kayaking scene in 2004, the two-times world champion and four-times Olympic medallist, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games, heads a Canadian canoe/kayak sprint team that won seven medals at the 2011 Pan Am Games, including four gold. (Compiled by Gene Cherry, Nelson Acosta, Andrew Downie, Larry Fine and Steve Keating; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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