Bal And Grant Strike Gold, Marshall Wins Silver On Final Day Of 2007 Pan American Games
July 23, 2007
The Pan American Games concluded in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday as former Stanford great Randall Bal captured his first two medals of the competition in the 100 backstroke and 400 medley relay, while current Stanford swimmer Andy Grant grabbed his third medal of the games in the 400 medley relay. Former swimmer Peter Marshall came away with a silver medal in the 100 backstroke.
The United States owned the 100 meter backstroke with a top-two sweep. Bal, fresh off setting the American record in the 50 back in Europe this summer, captured the gold with the fourth-fastest time in the world this year. He won the event in a Games-record time of 53.66 to shatter the 54.74 set by Jeff Rouse 12 years ago on March 16, 1995.
Bal also stands behind only Aaron Peirsol (52.98), Ryan Lochte (53.50) and Liam Tancock (53.61) in the world rankings this year.
'Lately, I've had a different mindset,' Bal said. 'Live it up and have fun. I realize how honored I am to represent my country and travel the world.'
Teammate Marshall garnered silver by out touching the superstar of the meet, Brazil's Thiago Pereira, 54.64 to 54.75.
The United States doubled its relay golds for the day by winning the final event of the meet with a Games-record time. The squad of Bal (53.83), Mark Gangloff (59.54), Ricky Berens (52.25) and Grant (48.75) shattered the former record with a time of 3:34.37. The time knocked nearly four seconds off the 3:38.27 set by the United States on Aug. 16, 2003.
The United States completed the meet with 30 medals overall, including 14 gold, 12 silver and four bronze. Three of those gold's came from the men, while 11 were earned by women.
Brazil placed second with 20 medals comprised of 10 gold, four silver and six bronze. Thiago Pereira definitely helped the cause with six gold medals. Brazil won the men's gold-medal tally with nine, compared to three from the U.S. and one from Canada. Meanwhile, Brazil snatched the only other women's gold medal that the U.S. did not win.
Canada finished third in the medal race with 13 (one gold, three silver, nine bronze), while Venezuela earned fourth with 4 (two silver, two bronze) and Mexico took fifth with 3 (two silver, one bronze). Argentina provided the only other country with multiple medals with 2 (one silver, one bronze), while the Cayman Islands, Barbados and Puerto Rico each chipped in a single medal.
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