Once more, Mexico meets USA in the Pan American tatami

After the firtst seven clashes in Pan American Taekwondo of the men's division, in the -79kg category, we already know the athletes competing in the quarters finals.
At the beginning of the third round of Taekwondo at the Pan American Games 2011, Sebastian Crismanich from Argentina faced up Michael Rodriguez  from Nicaragua; Crismanich slipped into the quarter finals round after the judges considered the fight finished because of technical superiority, with a final score of 12-0. In final quarters, Crismanich will measure against Canadian Sebastien Michaud, who got into quarter finals thanks to a "bye" pass.
In other battle, Mario Tellez from Cuba met Stuardo Solorzano from Guatemala; the Cuban combatant put ahead in the score right away, although the Guatemalan staff made a claim to the judges, who took one point off from Tellez and gave it to Solorzano as a result. The finals score was 8-8; Stuardo got through final quarters by sudden death.
On the other hand, Stuart Smith advanced the second round after the judges stopped the fight in the second assault,  after having subjected Jahmar Jean from the Virgin Islands with a conclusive 13-1; Jarmar was disqualified because of technical superiority. Stuart Smith will face up to Solorzano in final quarters.
Carlos Liebig from Chile achieved his access to quarter finals after beating dominican fighter Wikin Heredia in a very tough battle with a final score of 12-10.
The fifth fight of the day, between Venezuelan Carlos Vazquez  and Lenn Hypolite from Trinidad y Tobago, was the third match interrupted because of technical superiority, after the venezuelan took an advantage of 15-3; he will contend against Liebig from Chile.
Mexico's Uriel Avigdor Adriano debuted in the Pan American Games facing Colombia's Yair Medina and winning 6-5 to get into the next round.
The last fight of the preliminary round in Taekwondo men's division under 79kg, was between Timothy Curry from the USA and Brazil's Douglas Marcelino; Curry defeated the South American contender and will measure against Mexico in quarter finals.

October 14 - Neither the security fears, construction delays nor the tail end of Hurricane Jova that has caused heavy rainfall across Guadalajara over the past week could prevent the Mexican city from hosting a quite spectacular Opening Ceremony for the 2011 Pan American Games here at the 50,000 capacity Omnilife Stadium.

Even the rain, which had dominated the build-up to the event, stopped failing as the sun came out for an event attended number of high-profile dignitaries, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and the Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

It was Calderón who officially opened the competition at the conclusion of the Ceremony as he took centre stage on the podium and declared in Spanish: "With the certainty that these Games symbolise a fraternal union, peace and the prosperity that we wish for all people of the Americas; I solemnly open the 16th Pan American Games."

The Opening Ceremony had been in doubt even 24 hours before it was scheduled to take place because of the heavy rain in the week but that was not at all evident as a variety of electric performances continuously bought a deafening and passionate Mexican crowd to their feet.

A colourful dance began proceedings with Mexican vaqueros - or cowboys - riding their horses at a quick gallop around the centre of the Omnilife Stadium.

It was shortly after that the parade of the 42 nations began.

Argentina were the first to complete a lap of the stadium but the loudest cheer was unsurprisingly reserved for hosts Mexico who received a giant ovation that simply rocked the stadium.

The delegation entered wearing giant white sombreros and white tops with black trousers for the men and black skirts for the women and they achieved their goal of getting the entire crowd on their feet once again and cheering for their athletes.

The parade was followed by music and the speech from Calderon before a number of Mexican sporting legends, including footballer Rafael Marquez and boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, carried in the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) Flag which was raised to the Official Anthem.

It was then that an array of bright fireworks marked the conclusion of the Ceremony with Mexico set to host its biggest sporting event since the 1986 World Cup with over 6,000 athletes set to compete across 36 sports.

It was a fitting Opening for the event at the stunning Omnilife Stadium, one of the new venues for the Games after it was completed last year at a cost of $200 million (£126 million).

The venue will also host the Closing Ceremony of the competition as well as the football tournament while the first ever public match played in it was a friendly between Guadalajara and Manchester United last year.

Guadalajara won the game 3- 2, with the first goal at the stadium scored by Javier "Chicharito" Hernández playing for Guadalajara.

Hernández played the entire first half for Guadalajara and switched sides to Manchester United in the second half, symbolically sealing his transfer contract signed in March 2010.

The first official match was the first game of the final of the Copa Libertadores which saw Inter de Porto Alegre beat Guadalajara 2–1.

-Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

October 15 - Brazil are fielding one of their strongest contingencies ever for the Pan American Games, which opened here last night, as a direct reflection of the country's Ministry of Sports development plan to turn them into a leading sporting power by the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A total of 522 Brazilian athletes are participating in the Pan American Games this month which is more than any other country, including the United States.

Of those athletes, 38 per cent have at some point received financial support from the Ministry of Sports Athlete Scholarship programme meaning that the Brazilian Government has invested over $4 million (£2.3 million/€2.8 million) into the athletes participating here.

Brazil will be looking to better their third place finish at the last Pan American Games in Rio in 2007 with Minister of Sports Orlando Silva saying that the country not only wants to become a major sporting power by the 2016 Olympics but remain one after the Games.

"Although the work we're doing to improve our athletic programme will come to fruition and be seen around the world at the 2016 Games, our plan will have an impact far beyond 2016," said Silva.

"By putting in these initiatives and working on improving our programme like we never have before, we see Brazil developing into one of the world's premier sports programs for the long term."

A key part of the plan is the Athlete Scholarship programme which was set up in 2005 and is now the largest financial support programme for individual sports in the world.

In total, the programme has seen the Federal Government assist nearly 14,000 Brazilian sportsmen and women by directly investing $224 million (£142 million/€161 million) into the project.

Key examples of the success of the programme have seen Athlete Scholarship recipient Fabiana Beltrame (pictured), the rower who will compete in the Pan American Games, take gold for Brazil in September at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled in Slovenia in the single scull event.

In June of this year, Beltrame also won a stage of the rowing World Cup to become the first Brazilian athlete in history to do so.

Further success from the rowing star and her compatriots here would see Brazil achieve an important part of their long-term goal in the build-up to 2016.

"This is not a Government plan, but rather a state policy, along the lines of those built in the areas of health and education, which were formulated after taking into consideration the demands of the society and soliciting the direct input of the involved parties," added Silva.

-Tom degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

altThe President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge arrived last night to Guadalajara, and this morning, he visited the facilities of the International Broadcast Center (IBC) as well as the Main Press Center (MPC) located at the Expo Guadalajara.
Jacques Rogge, who since 2001 is the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), arrived to the capital of Jalisco to attend tonight's opening ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara 2011 at the Omnilife Stadium.
During his visit to the facilities where the main operations center of the journalists who cover the Pan American Games is located, the President of the IOC was accompanied by Don Mario Vazquez Raña, President of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), as well as Carlos Andrade Garin, director of the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011 Organizing Committee.
In a press conference, Jacques Rogge mentioned that so far he hasn't had the chance to visit other venues of the Pan American Games but he expressed his trust in the organization.
When speaking of the host city's designation of the Olympic Games in 2020 he declared "I don't like to talk about candidate cities before receiving the information. Those nominations come with experience in world sports but I have to wait on technical information to give an opinion. We are happy with every candidacy, they are fine," expressed Jacques Rogge.
When speaking about his stay in Mexico, he mentioned "Mexico has been a friend country that has always supported every Olympic movement. I always have good memories of Mexico because I competed in the 1968 Olympic Games," declared the Director from Belgium who also competed as an olympic athlete, in Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 in Sailing.

Source: www.witensports.com

altOctober 13 - Guadalajara have declared that they are still ready to host the 2011 Pan American Games on schedule despite the tail end of Hurricane Jova battering Mexico's Pacific Coast and producing heavy rain around some of the key sporting venues that will be used for the competition.

The 2011 Pan American Games are due to begin tomorrow with over 6,000 athletes from 41 nations set to compete across 36 sports but the vicious storm - which has already killed four people - means that portions of the Opening Ceremony at the 50,000 capacity Omnilife Stadium may have to be shortened.

The heavy rain on Mexico's West Coast has caused flooding in some parts and might also delay training sessions for triathlon, sailing and beach volleyball, all three of which will be held in the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta.

It is a problem that organisers certainly didn't need after their race against time to get all the venues complete for what is the second biggest multisport event on the planet behind the Olympics.

altSuch were the delays in constructions to the venues that the Telmex Athletics Stadium (pictured), which will host the track and field competitions, was only completed at the beginning of this week.

And further fears have emerged for athletes competing at the event with the news that the illegal steroid clenbuterol could be found in Mexico's meat supply.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a statement advising athletes travelling to Mexico to "exercise extreme caution with regards to what they eat and where they eat".

The advice came in the same statement in which WADA announced it had withdrawn its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding a decision not to sanction five Mexican footballers who tested positive for clenbuterol earlier this year.

Mexican football authorities said they believed the players ate meat contaminated with the banned drug, and WADA has now accepted that research "indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol".

Carlos Andrade Garin, director of Guadalajara 2011, offered assurances that the food available in the athletes at Games venues would be free of the steroid.

"It is meat that is 100 per cent reliable," he said.

"We know where it has come from and we have no doubts.

"The meat has been analysed and is being watched by police to avoid any chance of contamination."

In addition, Guadalajara city officials have offered assurances regarding the city's restaurants.

The Organising Committee have also promised that security is a top priority for the competition.

altThey are pumping $10 million (£6.35 million/€7.3 million) into a plan that calls for 10,000 municipal state and federal police, as well as elements from the Mexican army and navy, to patrol Guadalajara's streets 24 hours per day during the Games.

The Games are expected to provide relief from the daily reports of mass killings and kidnappings in Mexico, a country savaged by drug-related violence that has killed more than 35,000 people since late 2006.

The competition could generate a windfall of $2.7 billion (£1.72 billion/€1.97 billion) and attract over one million visitors but much depends on guaranteeing security for Mexico's biggest international event since the 1986 World Cup.

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun