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Green & Lambert going for gold at 2012 Pan American Racquetball Championships

Mike Green of Hamilton, Ont. and Frédérique Lambert of Montreal will play for gold on Saturday at the 2012 Pan American Racquetball Championships in Temuco, Chile, as they both upset the defending men's and women's champions, respectively, in the semi-finals on Friday.

Green, the 1999 Pan Am Champion, knocked off the defending Pan Am Champion Daniel De La Rosa of Mexico, 15-11, 14-15, 11-7. Green had a chance to win the match in two straight games, but De La Rosa fought off match point and then forced the tie-breaking third game.

But in game three, Green took a big lead right off the hop at 5-0, and then pushed it further to 9-0, as De La Rosa seemed to have used so much energy - physical and psychological - to win game two that he hadn't recovered enough between games. De La Rosa cameback - as expected from a defending champion - but he could only get it to 10-7 before Green won the game at 11-7 to take the match and advance to Saturday's final.

A win on Saturday would make Green the second Canadian man to win multiple singles titles at the Pan American Championships - along with Sherman Greenfeld of Winnipeg. Also, it would be the first men's singles title for a Canadian since Kris Odegard of Sasktoon won in 2006.

Green's opponent on Saturday could have been team-mate Vincent Gagnon of Montreal, who played Fernando Rios of Ecuador in the other semi-final, but Rios had other ideas, as he beat Gagnon, 15-12, 15-12, to become the first ever Ecuador player in the men's singles final.

On the women's side, Lambert defeated top seed and defending champion Rhonda Rajsich of the USA in the semi-finals Friday, 15-13, 15-10, to reach her first final at an international competition. At least first at the senior level, as Lambert won the Girls U18 World Junior title last year in what was her final year of junior eligibility.

Lambert played well, and needed to to defeat Rajsich, who is the #2 player on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) rankings. Lambert, who doesn't play regularly on the WPRO tour, is ranked 31st.

In women's doubles, Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg and Christine Richardson of Regina lost to Carola Loma and Jenny Daza of Bolivia, 15-12, 15-11, in the semi-finals, so they'll be coming home with bronze medals.

Also in Temuco, Michelle Morissette of Baie Comeau, Que. was playing in the semi-finals of Girls U16, where she lost to Mexico Ximena Gonzalez, 15-6, 15-9.

Play continues through Saturday in Temuco, Chile. The tournament draws and schedules are available at http://www.amafraweb.com.ar/temuco2012
For further information contact Darrell Davis, Racquetball Canada Vice-President of High Performance, e: d.d.davis@sasktel.net ; h: 306-789-7045; c: 306-596-4505.
Team Canada Results Summary

Men's Singles - Semi-finals
Mike Green (Canada) d. Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico), 15-11, 14-15, 11-7
Fernando Rios (Ecuador) d. Vincent Gagnon (Canada), 15-12, 15-12
Men's Singles - Final
Mike Green (Canada) v. Fernando Rios (Ecuador)
Women's Singles - Semi-finals
Frédérique Lambert (Canada) d. Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-13, 15-10
Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Carola Loma (Bolivia), 15-9, 15-11
Women's Singles - Final
Paola Longoria (Mexico) v. Frédérique Lambert (Canada)
Women's Doubles - Semi-finals
Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Colombia), 15-0, 15-3
Jenny Daza & Carola Loma (Bolivia) d. Christine Richardson & Jennifer Saunders (Canada), 15-12, 15-11
Women's Doubles - Final
Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. Jenny Daza & Carola Loma (Bolivia)
Girls U16 - Quarter finals
Ximena Gonzalez (Mexico) d. Michelle Morissette (Baie Comeau, Que.), 15-6, 15-9

 

 

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