|Victorian adds gold to Canada's medal haul
Richard Weinberger of Victoria continued his breakout swimming season by winning the gold medal Saturday in the open-water 10K event at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
|Gold-medal winner Richard Anton Weinberger, centre, of Victoria, silver medallist Arthur Dennis Frayler, left, of the U.S and bronze medallist Guillermo Bertola of Argentina show their medals after the men's 10K open-water race at the Pan American Games at Los Muertos beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Saturday.
Photograph by: Sergio Moraes, Reuters, Times Colonist|
The Pan Am Games gold follows up the UVic-Pacific Coast Club swimmer's victory in August at the official 2012 Summer Olympics 10K test event in the Serpentine River at London's Hyde Park.
But getting to the finish line in Mexico wasn't easy for the 21year-old UVic economics major.
"There have been speed bumps along the way," he said by phone from Mexico.
"I was sick before the Games and there has been the stress of combining school and swimming."
Weinberger, however, has fought through all that to establish himself as a Canadian to watch as he prepares for the London Olympic qualifying race next June in Portugal.
Weinberger and Arthur Frayler of the U.S. matched each other stroke for stroke as they furiously churned for the finish line Saturday. The Victorian prevailed in a photo finish in one hour, 57 minutes and 31 seconds - a mere 0.3 seconds ahead of silver-medallist Frayler. The bronze medallist was Guillermo Bertola of Argentina in 1: 57: 33.
"I'm definitely not used to winning, but I'm really happy and excited," said Weinberger.
"It was neck and neck, but I was able to out-sprint the field over the last 300 metres to get the gold medal. My coach [Ron Jacks of Victoria] did a really good job of tapering me and getting me in the proper head space. I hope there are more victories in the future. But first I'm looking forward to getting back to UVic and finishing off the semester and getting one step closer to my degree."
Said Jacks: "Richard can race with anyone."
And he proved it again. In another Games highlight Saturday, Aaron Rathy of Nanaimo took the men's silver medal at the wakeboarding venue in Boca Laguna.
The 23-year-old pro boarder from the Harbour City, 2009 world champion and 2008 world runner-up, finished with 72.67 points for the silver. Andrew Adkison of the U.S. took gold with 80.00 points and Marcelo Giardi of Brazil the bronze medal with 65.90.
"I had a fall but still had a good run," said Rathy, in a release.
"I would have needed a perfect run to beat Andrew [Adkison].
The wake was a bit small, which made it hard to get big air. But it was the same for everybody."
Weinberger and Rathy brought the number of medals won by Island athletes to nine at the midpoint of the Games, adding to the double silver medals won by rowers Kai Langerfeld of Parksville and Spencer Crowley of Lantzville, the silvers captured by rowers Joshua Morris and Mark Laidlaw of Victoria and the silver taken in mountain biking by Max Plaxton of Victoria.
Meanwhile, UVic Vikes alumnus Thea Culley scored in Canada's 7-3 loss Saturday to world champion and Games goldmedal favourite Argentina in women's field hockey. The Canadian team also includes Diana Roemer of Mill Bay and current UVic Vikes players Kaitlyn Williams and Danielle Hennig.
+ Wexico http://news.wexico.com/sports/23oct2011/victorian-adds-gold-to-canadas-medal-haul.htm
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