Paulson earns bronze in Pan Am 1,500 metres, Newman finishes third in pole vault

LIMA, Peru — William Paulson earned a bronze medal in the men’s 1,500 metres while Alysha Newman finished third in women’s pole vault Thursday at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Paulson, from Quebec City, finished in a time of three minutes 41.15 seconds, behind Mexico’s Jose Carlos Villarreal (3:39.93) and John Gregorek of the United States (3:40.42)

“I had gold in my mind, absolutely,” Paulson said. “I made my move on the back straight and tried to make a long run for it. The gap opened up and I just went for it.

“Coming into the home stretch I thought I had it but obviously I didn’t quite hold on in the last 30 meters. I’m a little disappointed but obviously super happy to get a medal.”

Newman, from Delaware, Ont., who came into the Games having set two Canadian records, finished third with a vault of 5.55 metres. Cuba’s Yarisley Silva Rodriguez finished first at 4.75, followed by Kathryn Nageotte of the United States at 4.70.

“It was a pretty strong headwind so I think a lot of the girls just try to sit and wait as long as they could to get either a tail or a tail wind. So I guess that’s what was the only thing we really adjust,” Newman said. “We did bring like all our bed stuff, sheets and stuff from the village and we layered up so that was good. I guess Canadians were used to the cold so it wasn’t too bad.”

Earlier, Larissa Werbicki and Jessie Loutit captured Canada’s first rowing medal of the 2019 Pan American Games with a second-place finish in the women’s coxless pairs.

Werbicki, of Saskatoon, and Loutit, of Fort Simpson, NWT, finished in a time of seven minutes 36.06 seconds, behind Chile’s Melita Abraham and Antonia Abraham (7:31.44). Mexico was third in 7:46.04.

“We adjusted our race plan to go a bit faster off the start because we knew the Chileans had a fast start,” Werbicki said. “We took the start a bit more aggressive and we found ourselves in second place coming through the 1000 and we were pretty relaxed about that.”

Werbicki and Loutit’s are making their Pan An debut. Thursday’s silver is Loutit’s first international medal. Werbicki previously won silver at the 2014 world junior championships and bronze at the 2014 youth Olympic Games.

In other rowing results, Luc Brodeur of St. Catharines, Ont., and Graham Peeters of Omemee, Ont., finished sixth in the men’s double sculls in their first senior racing competition. Brodeur and Peeters reached the A final after winning their Men’s Double repechage on Tuesday with a time of 6:26.77.

Layla Balooch of Burnaby, B.C., and Toronto’s Shannon Kennedy came sixth in the women’s double sculls final.

WRESTLING

Jade Parsons of Orillia, Ont., won the bronze-medal match of the women’s 53-kilogram event, beating Ecuador’s Luisa Valverde 6-3.

WATER POLO

Canada advanced to the women’s semifinals with a 22-3 win over Venezuela. Montreal’s Krystina Alogbo led the way with five goals on seven shots. Canada faces Brazil in Friday’s semis.

The men’s team also advanced to the semifinals with a 13-11 win over Mexico. Reuel D’Souza of Port Coquitlam, B.C., had four goals on six shots and Nicolas Bicari of Repentigny, Que., added four goals on eight shots.

FENCING

Argentina defeated Canada 45-23 in the men’s epee team quarterfinals.

GOLF

Mary Parsons of Delta, B.C., had the top score of the opening round of women’s competition at 3-under 68. Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., opened at 3-over 74.

Austin Connelly, a dual Canadian/American citizen who is representing Canada, opened the men’s competition with a round of 2 under 69, five shots back of leader Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay. Joey Savoie of La Prairie, Que., opened at 1 under.

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