Medal-winning Mexican archers in Lima, Peru.

Mexican athletes make history with 136 medals at Pan American Games

Mexico won gold medals every day of the 16-day event, for a total of 37

Mexico finished third on the medal tally at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, winning a total of 136 medals, including 37 gold.

It was Mexico’s best performance at the regional sporting event in terms of medals won although the gold tally was five less than the record 42 taken home by Mexican athletes at the 2011 games in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

The only other time that Mexico has placed so highly on the medal tally was at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City at which it also finished third.

Mexico’s medal haul – 37 golds, 36 silvers and 63 bronzes – was won by athletes competing in 31 different sports including athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting, rowing, judo, squash, diving, swimming and shooting.

Not a single day passed during the 16-day event on which the Mexican team didn’t win at least one gold medal, a feat that had never been achieved before.

paolo longoria
Racquetball player Paola Longoria has won more gold medals at the Pan American Games than any other Mexican, after winning three more in Lima.

The gold medals came in 14 different sports: athletics, canoeing, cycling, diving, water skiing, Basque pelota, gymnastics, weightlifting, modern pentathlon, racquetball, rowing, taekwondo, archery and triathlon.

The opening and penultimate days of the games were the most successful days for the Mexican delegation, with athletes winning five and seven gold medals respectively.  

On July 27, Paola Fragoso was triumphant in her taekwondo weight division, Crisanto Grijales won the men’s triathlon, Mariana Arceo came out on top in the modern pentathlon, Jonathan Muñoz lifted his way to glory in the 67-kilogram weightlifting division and Daniela Souza overcame her Brazilian opponent to win the final of the 49-kilogram weight division for taekwondo.

On August 10, Kenia Lechuga took top spot on the podium after rowing to victory in the women’s single sculls and Mexico had a highly successful day on the Basque pelota court, winning five gold medals in singles and doubles events.

The seventh gold on Saturday went to Mexico’s female racquetball team.

Mexico’s performance in the Peruvian capital far exceeded the expectation of the Mexican press and National Sports Commission director Ana Gabriela Guevara, who predicted a haul of 19 gold medals.

The United States finished first on the medal tally with 120 golds out of a total of 293 podium placings.

Brazil ranked second with 55 golds out of 171 medals, while Canada placed fourth with 35 golds.

Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and the Dominican Republic took out spots fifth to tenth respectively. Athletes from 30 countries participated.

The next edition of the Pan American Games will be held in Santiago, Chile, in 2023.  

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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