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Canada's Avianna Chao is congratulated after winning gold in the women's 10 metres air pistol shooting competition. ((Martin Mejia/Associated Press))

Avianna Chao could hardly contain herself — and that was before she was declared a gold medallist Monday at the Pan American Games.

Chao made it three first-place finishes for Canada in Rio de Janeiro when she topped the field in the women's 10-metre air pistol competition with a score of 468.9.

"This is so very exciting — my heart was jumping out of my body," said the Toronto shooter. "I tried to stay calm with some deep breathing and just tried to shoot the best that I could."

Luisa Maida of El Salvador was second with 467.9 points while Kirenia Bello Trujillo of Cuba took the bronze (467.5).

Dorothy Ludwig of Langley, B.C., placed fourth with 467.3.

Karine Sergerie, from Ste-Catherine, Que., also captured taekwondo gold Monday in the 67-kilogram class.

She defeated Heidy Juarez of Guatemala 8-2 in the gold-medal bout. Earlier, she dispatched Asuncion Ocasio of Puerto Rico 7-0 in a semifinal and edged Taimi Castellanos of Cuba 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

The beginning of the day was a bit difficult for me — I put way too much pressure on myself," said Sergerie. "I was quite tight, but things went much better in the afternoon bouts. In all, it was a very good tournament."

Cyclist Anne Samplonius and mountain biker Catherine Pendrel have also won gold for Canada, which has 13 medals so far in Brazil.

With files from the Canadian Press