Ryan, Chandler Win Gold for Team USA on Third Night of Pan Ams
GUADALAJARA – Team USA won five medals – two gold and three silver – Monday at the swimming finals of the 16th Pan American Games.
Winning gold for the U.S. were Gillian Ryan (Kutztown, Pa.) in the women’s 400m freestyle and Annie Chandler (San Antonio, Texas) in the women’s 100m breaststroke.
In the women’s 400m free, Ryan found herself in fourth place at the 300-meter mark but was able to run down the pack in the final 50 meters for the win, touching in 4:11.58.
“I’m very proud I was able to represent my country as well as I did,” Ryan said. “I love finishing hard. I love trying to catch people. It’s the way I love to race.”
Chandler and teammate Ashley Wanland (Long Grove, Ill.) went 1-2 in the women’s 100m breaststroke, turning in times of 1:07.90 and 1:08.55.
“We were in that ready room for an unusual amount of time, so that was a little adversity thrown our way, but I think it was a bit of an advantage for me,” Chandler said. “It gave me time to calm my nerves, and I was pretty relaxed once I got up to the block.”
“After prelims, Annie and I had some improvements to work on, and one of those improvements included going out a little more aggressively and coming back strong,” Wanland said. “I think that’s something I thought of during the race tonight.”
The reason Chandler and Wanland were delayed in the ready room prior to their race was because of a situation that occurred earlier in the men’s 200m butterfly.
The United States’ Daniel Madwed (Stamford, Conn.) finished behind Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus in that event, but was initially awarded the gold medal after De Deus was disqualified for an illegal logo on his cap. The disqualification was later overturned, and Madwed was awarded the silver. His time was 1:58.52.
“It was all a bit confusing,” Madwed said. “I actually didn’t really understand what was going on, because most of the talk was in Spanish around me, and I don’t really understand Spanish very well. First I heard it was the 15-meter mark, then I heard it was the cap. So I was really just confused. I didn’t win the race, so I’m glad it turned out the way it did, because I would have felt a little uncomfortable taking the gold medal under those circumstances.
“I came here to represent the United States and end up on the podium, so I’m glad I accomplished that goal. I felt really good with the team behind me, and my swim felt good, so I’m very happy.”
Eugene Godsoe (Greensboro, N.C.) won the final medal for the U.S., taking silver in the men’s 100m backstroke in 54.61.
“I’m very excited to win the silver medal,” Godsoe said. “This is my second major international competition after the world University Games in 2009. I obviously would have liked to swim a little faster, but these guys are world class athletes, and for me to even be competing with them, I’m very humbled and honored.”
Other finalists for the U.S. included Ashley Steenvoorden (Eat Brunswick, N.J.), 8th, women’s 400m freestyle (4:20.51); Robert Margalis (Flushing, N.Y.), 6th, men’s 200m butterfly (2:01.95); and David Russell (Wellesley, Mass), 4th, in the men’s 100m backstroke (54.87).
After three days of competition, Team USA’s medal count stands at 20 – eight gold, eight silver and four bronze.
For more information, including complete results, go to www.usaswimming.org.
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.