WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- A ninth Cuban left the team's delegation at the Pan American Games, saying Saturday he planned to seek asylum in the United States.
Basketball player Juan Leopoldo Vazquez defected before a morning game. He turned up elsewhere in Winnipeg accompanied by Ninoska Perez, director of the Cuban American National Foundation.Vazquez would be the ninth member of the Cuban delegation to leave, and the seventh athlete. Last month, five members of Cuba's national basketball team defected while in Puerto Rico for the Olympic qualifying tournament.
American swimmers finished strongly, getting golds from Denali Knapp in the women's 200-meter backstroke, from Timothy Siciliano in the men's 1,500 freestyle, and from Tammie Spatz in the women's 50 freestyle. It was not enough, however, to avoid the worst showing in Pan Ams history.
In 32 events, the Americans won only 10 gold medals, seven by the women. Not since 1963, when there were only eight events for men and eight for women, had either of the U.S. teams won fewer than 10 golds.
Canada won nine women's events. Jessica Daglau became the first Canadian to win four golds, taking the women's 200 butterfly. Teammate Curtis Myden, the 1996 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 individual medley, won his specialty. Earlier, he won the 400 IM.
Brazil capped the meet by winning the men's 400 medley relay.
With a history of medals staring at them, the U.S. women came through in basketball.
They won the bronze medal with an impressive 85-59 victory over Brazil, which defeated the Americans in preliminary play. With the win, the United States continued its streak of earning a medal in women's basketball in every Pan Ams since the sport was added in 1955.
"I told them about that before the game," coach Nell Fortner said. "I said if we don't win, we're the only USA team that goes home without a medal in the Pan Am Games. They need to know things like that. I think that served as extra motivation and they came out and played hard."
Amy Herrig scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half to get the United States off to a quick start. Edwina Brown took it from there, scoring 13 of her 19 in the second half.
Cuba beat Canada 72-63 for the gold.
The United States, which had blown a 13-point halftime lead in the first meeting with Brazil, had no letdown this time. Leading 42-26 at the break, the Americans made their first eight shots of the second half -- four by Brown -- and Brazil never got back in it.
Janette Piesczynski also wasn't going to be beat. She won the women's bowling gold medal by a mere one pin, giving the United States its third title in the sport. Piesczynski, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., beat Alicia Marcano of Venezuela 216-205 in the 16th and last match. That was enough -- barely -- to beat Marcano 3,328 to 3,327 for the gold.
After Piesczynski got two strikes in the final frame, Marcano needed to strike out in the 10th for a tie. She got the first two, but left the 7 pin standing on her last shot.
Both the U.S. men and women won the team events earlier.
The American men weren't so fortunate in softball, losing on a controversial call in the bottom of the seventh to Canada 4-3.
Kevin Bobroske's infield single off pitcher Michael White's glove with the bases loaded and two out won it. But the inning was extended when U.S. first baseman Shawn Rychcik was ruled off the bag on a routine ground out; replays clearly showed he was touching the base, and the Americans argued to no avail. The world champion American women moved to 11-0 in softball and into a night game for the gold medal against Canada, whom they beat 5-0 in the morning. Lisa Fernandez pitched a three-hitter and fanned 17 for her third victory in the games.