Canada collects four medals at Pan Am Games

Canada collected one silver and three bronze medals at the Pan American Games Saturday in Rio De Janeiro.

Canada collected four medals at the Pan American Games Saturday in Rio De Janeiro.

The men's fencing team earned a silver medal, while swimmer Kier Maitland, judo competitor Nicolas Tritton and the women's sabre team all captured bronze.

The fencing team of Philippe Beaudry and Nicolas Mayer — both of Montreal — and Michel Boulos of Candiac, Que., settled for silver after dropping a 45-34 decision to the United States in the final.

Maitland, from Edmonton, placed third in the 1,500-metre freestyle event with a time of 15 minutes, 25.28 seconds. American Charles Peterson won gold in 15:12.33.

''I made my best time,'' said Maitland. ''I was very happy and satisfied with the medal, despite it being a bronze.''

The Canadians have won a total of 14 swim medals, one more than the athletes earned four years ago in Santo Domingo.

Tritton, a Perth, Ont., native, defeated Argentina's Mariano Bertolotti in the repechage final to earn the bronze in the 73-kilogram division.

Despite earning a bronze, Tritton couldn't shake his loss to Leandro Guilheiro of Brazil in the quarter-finals.

''Everyone on the podium today is of world calibre,'' said Tritton. ''My strategy against the Brazilian wasn't good and I think the crowd played a factor, but this is part of the game, too.''

The women's sabre team of Olga Ovtchinnikova of Toronto, Sandra Sassine of Montreal and Julie Cloutier of Repentigny, Que., beat Venezuela 45-44 in the bronze-medal match.

Medal will build team's confidence

''I'm very happy to win,'' said Cloutier. ''Our opponents played very well. Venezuela will make a very strong challenge for a place in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. But this bronze medal will build our team's confidence.

Ovtchinnikova said the team was down after losing to Cuba in the semifinals.

''But we were able to pull together to fight for our team,'' she said. ''This is proof that we can do it and will boost our confidence for the upcoming Pan Am championships.''

In other action on Saturday, Brazil's Thiago Pereira broke the 40-year-old record of American Mark Spitz by winning his sixth swimming gold medal of the Pan American Games on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

Pareira, 21, won the men's 200-metre breaststroke to earn his sixth gold. He finished the race intwo minutes, 13.51 seconds, beating teammate Henrique Barbosa (2:13.83) and American Scott Spann (2:13.98) at the packed Maria Lank aquatic complex in Rio de Janeiro.

With files from the Canadian Press