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Team Canada Pan American Racquetball Championships Results
(Costa Rica) - After finishing with a nearly perfect 15 – 1 combined won - loss record in pool play at the 2008 Pan American Racquetball Championships (Mar 14 – 22), team Canada came away with 5 bronze medals in the playoff rounds. Round robin pool play is used to determine the seeding for the playoff rounds that are single elimination format.
In the men’s singles division Kris Odegard (Saskatoon, SK) was a perfect 2 – 0 in round robin play which earned him the first seed position in the playoff round. Odegard, who is the current Canadian singles champion, won his first two matches of the playoff round before falling in the semi-finals to the eventual gold medal winner Alvaro Beltran (Mex). Canada’s other men’s singles player was Ryan Smith (Burlington, ON) who also finished pool play at 2 – 0. Smith, playing in his first Pan Am’s, started the playoff round as the third seed but was also defeated in the semi-finals by Leopoldo Gutierrez (Mex). Under International Racquetball rules both semi-final losers are awarded bronze medals.
In the men’s doubles division current Canadian doubles champions, Mike Green (Burlington, ON) and Brian Istace (Calgary, AB) cruised through the pool play round with a 3 – 0 match record and found themselves seeded second in the playoff round. In the playoff round Green and Istace won their first two matches before having to settle for a bronze medal finish with a semi-finals loss to the gold medal winners Javier Moreno and Gilberto Mejio (Mex).
Playing women’s singles for Canada was Jennifer Saunders (Winnipeg, MN) and Veronique Guillemette (Calgary, AB). Saunders was unbeaten in pool play going 3 – 0 and continued her winning streak with 2 wins in the playoff round before being defeated by Paola Longoria (Mex) in the semi-finals and earning the bronze medal. Guillemette had Canada’s only pool play loss going 2 – 1 and ended her tournament with a loss to first seed Ronda Rajsich (Phoenix, AZ).
Canada’s women’s doubles team consisted of Josée Grand’Maître (Longueuil, QC) and Frédérique T Lambert (Montreal, QC). Lambert was also playing in her first Pan Am’s and has a bronze medal to show for her efforts after she and Grand’Maître took their 3 – 0 pool play record and second seeding into the playoff round which, unfortunately, ended in the semi-finals with a loss to silver medallists Angela Grisar and Fabiola Marquez (Chi).
The next international event for Team Canada is the World Racquetball Championships to be held in Kingscourt, Ireland August 1 – 10, 2008.
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