Santiago Mejia, Liz Johnson win Singles gold at Pan American Games



    2011PAGLizJohnson.jpgSantiago Mejia of Colombia and Liz Johnson, United States, ended the bowling competition of the 16th Pan American Games Thursday at Tapatío Bowling Center in Guadalajara, Mexico with victory in the men's and women's Singles event.

    It was the third gold medal for Team USA in four events and the first for Colombia.

    In the women's finals, Johnson (pictured left) defeated Jennifer Park of Canada, 2-0, to earn her second gold medal after her victory in Doubles with team mate Kelly Kulick. The two-time Women's U.S. Open champion had little trouble, taking down Park 232-196 and 235-190 in the best-of-three format.

    2011PAGChrisBarnesSantiagoMejia.jpg"It was a tough battle but it feels great to come out on top," Johnson said. "There were some great players in this field. Physically I felt really good, and I used a few tricks in my bag to do what I had to do to strike."

    Mejia (pictured right with Chris Barnes, left) claimed the men's gold medal with a stunningly ruthless 2-0 victory over 13-time PBA champion Chris Barnes, United States. Barnes, who won the gold medal in Doubles with fellow PBA champion Bill O'Neill fell to the Colombian 189-171 and 205-193.

    "Anytime you win three out of four gold medals you can't say anything but that it was successful," Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. "We had a shot at getting all four, but Colombia bowled extremely well and deserved to earn the gold."

    On his way to the title match, Mejia also eliminated U.S. Open champion O'Neill in the quarterfinals, 711-589, in the three games, total pinfall match. Kulick fell in the opening round to Brazil's Stephanie Martins, 630-587.

    In the semifinals, Barnes advanced with a 2-1 victory over Manuel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, while Mejia defeated Marcelo Suartz of Brazil, 2-1. Johnson knocked off Karen Marcano of Venezuela, 2-0, and Park defeated Canadian teammate Caroline Lagrange, 2-1. The semifinal losers shared the bronze medal.

    2011PAGLogo.jpg Held every four years, the Pan American Games are the second-largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. This year, nearly 6,000 athletes from the American Zone competed in 36 sports.

    A total of 19 member federations of the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) - 16 each in the men's and women's division - participated in the bowling competition. Each team in the men's and women's division consisted of two players for total 32 men and 32 women.

    The United States were the sole country that medaled in all four events winning three gold medals and one silver. Colombia won one gold and another two bronze medals in Doubles. Canada and Venezuela both took home one silver and one bronze. The host country Mexico earned one silver while Brazil and the Dominican Republic took one bronze medal each.


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    Men's Singles - Single-Elimination Match Play Finals

    The opening round and the quarterfinals matches featured three games with the highest pinfall advancing. The semifinals and finals were best-of-three game matches.



    Women's Singles - Single-Elimination Match Play Finals

    The opening round and the quarterfinals matches featured three games with the highest pinfall advancing. The semifinals and finals were best-of-three game matches.