Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, July 27, 1999

P A N _ A M _ G A M E S

Associated Press
Hawaii karate standout George Kotaka does battle with Alberto
Espejo of Colombia in the 65-kilogram kumite final, which Kotaka
won to capture a Pan American Games gold medal yesterday.

Hawaii’s Kotaka
wins karate gold

His win adds to the U.S. total
at the Pan Am Games

Staff and wire reports


WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- George Kotaka of Honolulu, the current USA National Karate champion, defeated Alberto Espejo of Colombia at 65 kilograms to capture the gold medal in the men's kumite (sparring) division yesterday.

"It was really nerve-wrecking, but once we got out there, the jitters were gone and it was time to fight," Kotaka said.

"I initiated the attack and he (Espejo) countered it on the first point.

"But I knew that sooner or later, because there were three minutes, I could come back and get some points back."

Kotaka was one of three Americans to win gold in the men's kumite.

John Fonseca of Northbrook, Ill., beat Nelson Sardenberg of Brazil at 80 kilos. In 80-plus, Doug Selchan, North Huntingdon, Pa., defeated Altamiro Cruz of Brazil.

Other men's winners were Yusey Padron Hernandez of Cuba, over Dov Sternberg of Woodmere, N.Y., at 60 kilos; Anthony Boelbaai of the Netherlands Antilles at 70 kilos, and Ricardo Perez, Venezuela, at 75 kilos.

Beisy Quintana Matos of Cuba won the women's 53 kilograms kumite; Maria Wayow of Venezuela in the 60 kilos, and Lucelia Ribeiro, Brazil, in 60-plus.

Meanwhile, on a day that Morgan White and teammate Jennie Thompson restored some pride in U.S. women's gymnastics, the American baseball team squandered a four-run lead and lost to Canada, 7-6, in its controversy-spiced opener yesterday.

And there was more from Cuba, this time from the man at the top. President Fidel Castro accused Canada and the United States of dirty tricks aimed at harming Cuba during the games.

"We are competing in enemy territory," Castro declared during his annual Revolution Day speech in Havana.

The baseball fireworks were ignited by Ernie Whitt, the Canadian manager who was ejected in a rulings dispute with the umpires, then filed a protest that was rejected. The resulting 30-minute delay only served to inspire the Canadians, who trailed, 6-3, at that point, but rallied to win in 11 innings.

"The second he got ejected, he believed we were going to come back and win this game," said Canada's Andy Stewart, who had to admit, "that was an unusual way to do it."

White, 16, who has yet to outgrow her braces, is one of the youngest members of the entire U.S. delegation. She also rallied to capture gymnastics gold. She was third heading into the final rotation of the all-around competition, but put together a strong routine on the uneven bars that was enough to give her a .031 margin over Canada's Michelle Conway.

Thompson, second going into her last routine, held on for the bronze despite falling off the balance beam.

The loss to Canada didn't do much for the confidence of the U.S. baseball team, It seemed to have its game well in hand before Andy Stewart, who plays Double-A ball in the Phillies organization, hit a three-run homer off Scott Stewart to tie the score in the 11th.

Canada then loaded the bases on two walks and a hit-batter before Stubby Clapp hit a routine popup into short left field. Shortstop Travis Dawkins appeared to be under the ball, but left fielder Shawn Gilbert called him off.

Bad move. Gilbert couldn't get to the ball, it plopped to the grass and the winning run scored.

"It's hard to lose when you feel like you played hard all game long, you go up by three and have got two outs," U.S. manager Buddy Bell said. "You just pretty much figure things will work out the way you want them to."

Whitt erupted after walking to the mound in the top of the 11th to talk to pitcher Chad Ricketts, who had just surrendered a two-run homer to Jason Hardtke that gave Team USA a 6-3 lead.

Because Whitt talked to Ricketts the previous inning, the umpires said he exceeded the number of free trips allowed in a game and had to remove the pitcher. Whitt thought otherwise, a 20-minute discussion -- which eventually became an argument -- followed and Whitt got tossed. He promptly filed a protest, which international baseball officials turned down.

With the two gymnastics medals, coach Mary Lee Tracy felt much better leaving Winnipeg Arena than she did on Saturday, when the favored Americans finished second to Canada in the team race.

The United States leads the medals count with 63, including 24 gold. Cuba has 37, with 15 gold, and Canada has 35, with nine gold.

Castro's comments followed the defection of a Cuban athlete and a journalist at the games. He echoed criticism by Cuban athletic officials that the Canadian media were encouraging Cuban athletes to defect.

"We have never seen so many tricks, so much filth in the Pan American Games," Castro said.



Through yesterday

(71 total medals)

			G	S	B	Tot
United States		24	24	15	63
Cuba			15	11	11	37
Canada			9	9	17	35
Brazil			3	9	13	25
Mexico			5	3	9	17
Venezuela		3	4	5	12
Argentina		6	3	0	9
Colombia		1	4	1	6
Peru			0	2	3	5
Jamaica			1	0	3	4
Chile			1	0	2	3
Bahamas			1	0	1	2
Ecuador			0	0	2	2
Uruguay			0	0	2	2
Surinam			1	0	0	1
Netherlands Antilles	1	0	0	1
Cayman Islands		0	1	0	1
Dominican Republic	0	1	0	1




20K Walk

GOLD--Bernardo Segura, Mexico

SILVER--Daniel Garcia, Mexico

BRONZE--Jefferson Perez, Ecuador


20K Walk

GOLD--Graciela Mendoza, Mexico

SILVER--Rosario Sanchez, Mexico

BRONZE--Michelle Rohl, Black River Falls, Wis.


Team Dressage

GOLD--United States (Lynda Alicki, Monroe, Ga. on Impressario; Debbie McDonald, Hailey, Idaho on Brentina; Donna Richardson, Escondido, Calif. On Jazzman; Betsy Rebar Sell, Akron, Ohio on Wonderful Walden)

SILVER--Colombia (Stephanie O'Mara; Cesar Parra Bauytista; Marco Bernal; Tatiana Londono Camargo)

BRONZE--Mexico (Antonio Rivera; Salvador Onate; Patrick Burssens; Bernadette Pujals)

Artistic Gymastics


Individual All-Around

GOLD--Morgan White, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

SILVER--Michelle Conway, Canada

BRONZE--Jennie Thompson, Cincinnati



Kumite 60kg

GOLD--Yusey Padron Hernandez, Cuba

SILVER--Dov Sternberg, Woodmere, N.Y.

BRONZE--Sidirley Souza, Brazil and Eduardo Noguera, Venezuela

Kumite 65kg

GOLD--George Kotaka, Honolulu

SILVER--Alberto Espejo, Colombia

BRONZE--William Preciado, Ecuador and Enrique Vilela Gay, Cuba

Kumite 70kg

GOLD--Anthony Boelbaai, Netherlands Antilles

SILVER--Jaime Noguera, Venezuela,

BRONZE--Jean Carlos Pena, Venezuela and Celio Vieiro, Brazil

Kumite 75kg

GOLD--Ricardo Perez, Venezuela

SILVER--Antonio Pinto, Brazil

BRONZE--Alonso Murayama, Mexico and Massimiliano Pagano, Brazil

Kumite 80kg

GOLD--John Fonseca, Northbrook, Ill.

SILVER--Nelson Sardenberg, Brazil

BRONZE--Bravo Rodriquez, Cuba and Antonio Puente Torres, Mexico

Kumite 80kg-plus

GOLD--Doug Selchan, North Huntingdon, Pa.

SILVER--Altamiro Cruz, Brazil, shiro,

BRONZE--Manuel Costa, Uruguay and Yoel Diaz, Cuba


Kumite 53kg

GOLD--Beisy Quintana Matos, Cuba

SILVER--Gladys Eusebio, Peru

BRONZE--Btissima Es-Sadiqi, Canada and Christina Muccini, Douglaston, N.Y.

Kumite 60kg

GOLD--Maria Wayow, Venezuela

SILVER--Maria Maia, Brazil

BRONZE--Lisa Ling, Canada and Barbara Chinen, Sacramento, Calif.

Kumite 60kg-plus

GOLD--Lucelia Ribeiro, Brazil

SILVER--Katty Acevedo, Dominican Republic

BRONZE--Kimberly Morgan, Harleysville, Pa., and Cristina Madrid, Mexico.



Lightweight Single Sculls

GOLD--William Belden, King of Prussia, Pa.

SILVER--Osmani Hernandez, Cuba

BRONZE--Javier Godoy, Chile

Coxless Pairs

GOLD--Argentina (Damian Ordas, Walter Balunek)

SILVER--Brazil (Alexandre Soares, Gilbran Cunha)

BRONZE--Canada (Phil Graham, Kevin Whithe)


Lightweight Single Sculls

GOLD--Maria Julia Garosian, Argentina

SILVER--Tracy Duncan, Canada

BRONZE--Emma Obidinski, Oneonta, N.Y.

Coxless Pairs

GOLD--Canada (Emma Robinson, Theresa Luke)

SILVER--United States (Karen Kraft, Newport, Wash.; Missi Ryan, Bloomington, Ind.)

BRONZE--Cuba (Maira Gonzalez, Odalis Martinez)



Free Rifle Prone

GOLD--Matthew Emmons, Browns Mills, N.J.

SILVER--Wayne Sorensen, Canada

BRONZE--Henry Gerow, Canada

Table Tennis



GOLD--United States (Todd Sweeris, Rockville, Md.; Eric Owens, Flint, Mich.; David Zhuang, North Brunswick, N.J.)

SILVER--Argentina (Juan Frery, Liu Song, Pablo Tabachnik)

BRONZE--Canada (Xavier Therien, Pradeban Peter-Paul, Horatio Pintea) and Brazil (Hugo Hoyama, Thiago Monteiro, Carlos Kawai)



GOLD--United States (Gao Jun, Gaithersburg, Md.; Tawny Banh, Alhambra, Calif.; Amy Feng, Marietta, Ga.)

SILVER--Canada (Lijuan Geng, Chris Xu, Petra Cada)

BRONZE--Chile (Sofija Tepes Cancino, Berta Olate Rodriguez, Silvia Morel Messina) and Brazil (Lyanne Kosaka, Eugenia Ferreira, Ligia Silva)

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