Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Swim Team's Gold-Medal Streak Snapped at the Pan Am Pool

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Swim Team's Gold-Medal Streak Snapped at the Pan Am Pool

Article excerpt

Canada's run of gold in the pool snapped

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TORONTO - A disqualification interrupted Canada's run of gold at the Pan American Games pool Thursday, although the host swim team stayed out front in total medals won.

Emily Overholt out-touched Caitlin Leverenz of the U.S. at the wall to finish first in the 400-metre individual medley and to kick off the third night of finals, but the Canadian was disqualified for a "non-simultaneous" wall touch during the breaststroke leg of the race.

Officials ruled both her hands did not contact the wall at the same time.

Swimming Canada protested to the meet referee and then the jury of appeal, but Overholt's disqualification was upheld.

The youngest swimmer on the Canadian team at 17, Overholt's time of four minutes 35.33 seconds would have been the fourth-fastest in the world this year, as well as a national and Pan Am record.

"It's unfortunate, but I still did the swim, so I still know that I have it in me," said the West Vancouver, B.C. swimmer. "It's something to learn from."

Canada picked up three silver and three bronze Thursday for a total of 19 with two days of racing remaining. The United States improved to 16 and Brazil 14 and lead the gold-medal race with six apiece to Canada's five.

The night began on the odd note of a belated 800-metre men's freestyle relay medal presentation, which had been postponed from the previous evening because the United States appealed a disqualification.

The Americans were successful in their appeal, however, and the reinstatement of their silver bumped Canada to bronze.

Overholt's swim ignited the pro-Canadian crowd, but their celebration was short-lived and the atmosphere in the building remained relatively flat compared to a raucous first two days.

Thiago Pereira, Brazil's most decorated Pan Am swimmer, was stripped of a first-place finish in the men's I.M. for a similar violation to Overholt's.

Canada's Sydney Pickrem, whose hometown is now Oldsmar, Fla., upgraded from bronze to silver in the women's I. …

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