Americans sweep Pan American Games

Americans sweep Pan American Games

By ITU Admin on 17/07/07 at 12:00 am

Andy Potts of the United States is the new Pan American Games champion.  Potts led for most of the race, crossing the line in a time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 31 seconds, 7 seconds faster than silver medalist Brent McMahon of Canada. To the cheers of thousands of locals lining the course, Brazilian Juraci Moreira finished in third, a further 16 seconds back.  The Pan American Games triathlon also doubled as the ITU Continental championships for 2007.

The 30-year old father, Potts, immediately moved to the front of the 37 men early into the opening swim.  A long course and rough conditions would help the ex-collegiate swimmer open a 20 second lead into the transition area and out on the bike course. 
A chase group of 19 athletes quickly formed behind Potts and began the task of reeling in the strongman.  This chase group worked well with all top contenders, including McMahon, Moreira, Kyle Jones and Paul Tichelaar of Canada, Jarrod Shoemaker of the United States among others, in the group.  They would catch Potts on the second of eight laps.

Not content to sit and wait for things to be decided on the run, McMahon, Tichelaar, Leonardo Saucedo of Mexico and Javier Cuevas of Domincan Republic formed a small but effective break away in the late stages of the bike, managing to open a 50 second gap heading out on the 10-kilometre, flat and fast run.

The effort exerted in the small break away was taxing however, and their lead would not last as first Potts and then others would catch them.  Only McMahon would hang on for a podium position, continuing the streak of a Canadian medal at every Pan American Games triathlon since its induction in 1995.

2007 Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro – Elite Men Results
1. POTTS, Andy (USA) 1:52:31
2. MCMAHON, Brent (CAN) 1:52:38 +:07
3. MOREIRA, Juraci (BRA) 1:52:54 +:23
4. JONES, Kyle (CAN) 1:53:06 +:33
5. CHACON, Leonardo (CRC) 1:53:13 +:42
6. SHOEMAKER, Jarrod (USA) 1:53:32 +1:01
7. GONZALEZ, Michel (CUB) 1:53:34 +1:03
8. FLEISCHMANN, Brian (USA) 1:53:37 +1:06
9. GARZA, Arturo (MEX) 1:53:43 +1:12
10. ARIAS, Jorge (COL) 1:53:53 +1:22

Click here full race results.

It was an American sweep of the gold medals as Julie Ertel, formerly Swail, won the Pan American Games triathlon in a time of 1 hour 57 minutes and 23 seconds.  Only a few steps behind was her was team mate Sarah Haskins.  Lauren Groves of Canada was third. 

The event doubled as the 2007 ITU Pan American Continental Championships.
From the starter’s horn the two Americans immediately broke away from the rest of the group, with team mate Sara McLarty, opening a 15 second lead by the end of the 1,500 metre swim course.  The American trio would use their strong swim-bike skills to utilize this lead, growing it to over two and a half minutes by the end of the bike.

The sizable chase group contained many of the sports top runners including Groves, fellow Canadian Kathy Tremblay, Brazilian Mariana Ohata, Melody Ramirez of Mexico, Flora Duffy of Bermuda, among others.  This group had their sights set on the three leaders and a podium finish.  Ertel and Haskins did not faulter though and ran together until the last kilometre when the American national champion Ertel pulled away, running to the first major international win of her career.

Over the first two laps the chasers would reel in swim-bike specialist McLarty but were unable to narrow the gap to the other two Americans.  With one lap to go, Groves would break ahead of the rest of the chasers.  With no response from any of the other women, she was free to cruise to the bronze medal.

Crossing the line in fourth was reining continental champion Tremblay, with young Mexican Ramirez in fifth.

2007 Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro – Elite Women Results
1. ERTEL [SWAIL], Julie (USA) 1:57:23
2. HASKINS, Sarah (USA)
3. GROVES, Lauren (CAN)
4. TREMBLAY, Kathy (CAN)
5. RAMIREZ, Melody (MEX)
6. OHATA, Mariana (BRA)

At the time of publication, further results were not available.
Full race results will be available here shortly.

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