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Officials defend U.S. selections

As the United States piled up more medals Friday, including a gold by boxer Gerald Tucker, U.S. team officials defended the selection process for the Pan American Games.

USOC executive director Richard Schultz said the Games have been run well, calling it a "gold- medal performance" by the Winnipeg organizers. He also took exception to suggestions the United States did not bring its best athletes.

"We've accomplished a lot of things here," Schultz said. "We've seen the media sometimes refer to the U.S. bringing their B team. That's not correct. We brought a good combination of athletes here."

One of them was Tucker, 20, who easily won the bantamweight title, outpointing Neouar Cermeno of Venezuela 15-3.

Arthur Palac of Hamtramck, Mich., lost to Yohason Martinez in the middleweight division as Cuba won the other five golds.

The U.S. men's basketball team moved into the final against Brazil by defeating Argentina 84-76. Brazil took Puerto Rico 95-85.

American Kaitlin Sandeno, winner of the women's 400-meter freestyle, added the 800 in a Pan Ams record 8 minutes, 34.65 seconds.

The victorious women's 400 medley relay team of Denali Knapp, 100 breaststroke champion Staciana Stitts, 100 butterfly gold medalist Karen Campbell and Tammie Spatz set a Pan Ams record of 4:06.08.

Joanne Malar of Canada got her second gold. The winner of the women's 400 individual medley this time took the 200 IM with a second Games record, 2:14.18.

Fernando Scherer, the men's 100 freestyle champion, won the 50 freestyle and gave the Brazilians a sweep of the four men's freestyle races.

After 26 events, the United States has only seven golds, its worst showing in Pan Ams swimming. The men failed to medal in the 50-meter freestyle for the first time ever.

A 2-1 victory over Canada gave the U.S. men the soccer bronze medal, only the third American men's soccer medal of the Games.

By the end of Friday, the Americans' total was 254 medals, 92 gold. Canada was next at 162 and 52, with Cuba at 137 and 63.

"We're happy with the success of our athletes," U.S. delegation chief Herman Frazier said.

Lea Foreman, of Denmark, Wis., lifted 215 kilograms (474 pounds) to take the 69-kilo (152-pound) class. It was the third U.S. gold in the Games for a woman weightlifter; Robin Byrd Goad earlier won the 53-kilo class. Tara Nott won in 48 kilos.

Denise Parker of Salt Lake City, the leading qualifier, took her 11th Pan Ams medal with a bronze in archery.

Canada, the only team to beat the United States in the round-robin of men's softball, did it again, 2-1 in the medal round. If the Americans can beat Cuba today, they get another shot at Canada for the gold.

The women's softball powerhouse had its medals-round game with Canada rained out and it was to be made up today.

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