Games-Mexico wins artistic swimming gold as US medal machine cranks up

Pan-Am Games - Santiago 2023 - Artistic Swimming - Centro Acuatico, Santiago, Chile - November 2, 2023 Mexico's Nuria Diosdado and Joana Jimenez perform during the Duets Free Routine REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Mexico dazzled at the Pan American Games artistic swimming on Thursday as the United States medal machine moved back into high gear, powering past 200 - almost half of them gold.

Nuria Diosdado and Joana Jimenez, who won silver four years ago in Lima, upgraded to gold with the added bonus of an Olympic quota spot.

Diosdado and Jimenez were the class of the field in the duet free routine, posting a winning total of 235.78 and leaving the U.S. pair of Ruby Remati and Megumi Field a well-beaten second. It was the Mexican swimmers' first gold in the event earned them a ticket to Paris.

"We are very happy because we made history for Mexico; there had not been a gold medal in the free duet event for Mexico and we are the first to do it," Diosdado told reporters "There are many things in which we can make our people proud."

On a busy day at the track, Canada picked up a pair of gold with Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who won silver in the 5,000 metres, taking top spot on the podium in the 1,500m ahead of teammate Robert Heppenstal.

Shot putter Sarah Mitton, coming off a silver medal performance at the world championships, will go home with gold, her winning effort of 19.19 metres (62.96 ft) more than a metre better than second-place Rosa Ramirez of the Dominican Republic.

Other winners included the United States' Erin Marsh in the heptathlon; the Dominican Republic's Marileidy Paulino in the women's 200m; and Brazil's Renan Correa in the men's sprint.

Brazil also came in first in the men's 4x100m relay for the sixth time in seven Games, while Cuba won the women's sprint relay for the first time since 1967.

Cuba also finished one-two in the women's triple jump, with Leyanis Perez taking gold ahead of teammate Liadagmis Povea. Venezuela's Joselyn Daniely Brea won the women's 5,000m.

Mexico's Lizeth Rueda Santos, who competed at the 2012 Olympics in the 10km swim, was winner of the women's triathlon, with Brazil's Miguel Lopes Hidalgo coming in first in the men's race.

After the United States dominated Day One of freestyle wrestling, scooping all four gold medals, Cuba took over the mats on Thursday, winning three of five weight classes. Yurieski Torreblanca took the top spot on the podium in 86kg; Yusneylis Guzman won the women's 50kg; Alejandro Valdes finished at the top of the podium in the men's 65kg.

Bowling is not the most high-profile event at the Games but it produced Panama's first gold medal, with Donald Lee and William Duen winning the men's doubles.

Heading into the final weekend, the United States continues to pull away at the top of the medal table with 207.

Brazil is a distant second with 46 gold and 145 total medals, followed by Canada with 37 and126.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Santiago. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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