Daily News from New York, New York on August 19, 1991 · 48
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Daily News from New York, New York · 48

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New York, New York
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Monday, August 19, 1991
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48
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"43 - O -OAitr SPORTS tjews" Monday. August 19. 1991 1 3. n c n n n By WAYNE COFFEY Da News Scors wrer HAVANA - The 1 1th Pa a Am Games ended yesterday with a leathery thud, as the Cuban boxers came, fought and won enough gold to rent a wing in Fort Knox. Anyone for no mas? So just how lopsided was it? Ask Shannon Briggs. the Brooklyn heavyweight who was one of three U.S. losers. Briggs lasted 2:45 of Round 1 before being socked into a stupor by Felix Savon. "I wish I could do it all over again," Briggs said. "I kind of felt a little tight because of the crowd. I Just got caught by a big guy who can punch." It was a fistic feast for the home team, which was cheered by about 10.000 people, including at least one named FideL Fidel did the wave (again). People chanted "Tiralo" knock htm down and before the 11th gold in 11 tries, the place erupted with news that Cuba had clinched gold-medal superiority in the Games for the first time ever. "No doubt about it, they're strong and talented." U.S. coach Kenny Loehr said. "You always feel a lot better when you're fighting in your hometown." The only non-Cuban who owns a gold is Steve Johnston. 18. of Denver, a 139-pounder. The Cuban in his class Candelario Duvergal lost in the quarterfinals, so Johnston beat Edgar Ruiz of Mexico for the gold. Johnston fought with his good-luck charm a Ninja Turtle band-aid. which was given to him by a reporter. The Ninjas were on his left hand, which he cut while opening a canned ham. Johnston rocked Ruiz into a stand--4ng eight-count, then opened a gash on his face, which temporarily stopped the bouL "I thought something was wrong with our shoes or something." Johnston said. "Then I look up and he's cut." There was much less surprise in most of the bouts. At i : V' - ' : ! - ' - v . ' 'i f I - ----- ?' , ... . . r- - - v i' . ; : V--:' J -f " . -" ' . - .v - v f. f i ' - 1 - . f V - f - - - . " . - v ' . . - ' ? BSCfCINC HOME THE GOLD: Steve Johnston (L) of the United States rocks Mexico's Edgar Ruiz with a hard left 123 pounds. Amaldo Mesa had a one-sided decision over Kenny Friday. At 132, Julio Gonzalez, a wiry buzz-saw of a fighter, totally overmatched Patrice Brooks. The best U.S. team is training for the world championships, and against the vaunted Cubans, it showed. That left only Briggs of Brownsville, a 19-year-old who waited two weeks to fight because only three men were in his 201-pound class. He could have waited a few more, es pecially after his weight plunged to 191. Cuban food didnt agree with him. With his reddish-brown braids flopping atop his headgear. Briggs mimicked Savon the reigning world champion before the fight, but did almost nothing in it 'The game plan was to go after him with the jab." U.S. assistant coach Tom Mustin said. "Shannon has a good jab." Shannon didnt throw it or anything else, until the bout was more than a minute old. Soon after that he got decked by a chopping right. The same punch sent him sprawling into the ropes. It was one of seven Cuban KOs. "It's the first time I've ever been down or even stopped." Briggs said. "I feel kind of embarrassed it was on national TV. But a champion w ill fight back." Experience shows Later. Loehr talked about the vast experience gap between the Americans and Cu- ITS OS mm HAVANA - The Games officially closed with 35.C00 rol-.licking fans jammed into Es-tadio Panamericano last right There was blaring Cuban music, including a 15-minute version of "Guantanamera." by a military band, with virtually every soul in the place singing along. Cuban flags waved, people danced, swayed, hugged, clapped a passionate national outpouring of the highest order. Cuba collected 140 golds. 10 more than the United States. The U.S. led in overall medals- with. 352 10 .fsiha's. 265. Canada finished far behind in third with 22 golds and 127 overall, and Brazil was fourth with 21 golds and a total of 79. U.S. won a total of six boxing medals the fewest in Pan Am competition since 1951 Geerge Steinbrenner was a ringside observer of the Cuban assault at the boxing venue. . . . The all-tournament baseball team included eight Cubans and Chris Roberts American left fielder, who had five homers. 12 RBI and hit .304 in the 10 games. ... MVP was Cuban second baseman flntaniaracheca. - NOTEBOOK' American swimmers finished first in five of six events yesterday. In all. they won 24 of 32 races and 49 of a possible 58 medals. ... The best U.S. swimmers skipped Havana to prepare for the Pan Pacific Games in Edmonton this Thursday through Sunday. It was the U.S. 'B team that established Pan Am Games records in seven events. . . . Because of a paperwork error by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Sean Killion of Cherry Hill. NJ., . had to be scratched from the 1,500. Killion earlier set a games record in winning the 400 freestyle. "It would've been a lot better if Sean had been allowed to compete." said Alex Kostich. of Belmont. Mass.. who won by more than 12 seconds. "He would've given me a race, which is more than I had out there." Susan Gottlieb of Shelby-ville. Ind.. and Angie Wester-Krieg of Campbell. Calif, finished 1-2 in the 200 butterfly. ... Dede Trimble of Short Hills won the 200 backstroke. ' : Kristin Heydxnek " of -Mid- bans, and he's quite right Savon has had 235 bouts. This was Briggs' 26th. But nothing as mundane as that mattered yesterday. This was a national holiday on canvas, and as the thuds kept coming, the only sound more frequent was the Cuban national anthem. It lasts 51 seconds. After 11 playings. total time was over nine minutes. As his treasured Games were closing, Fidel didn't seem to mind the standing a bit Q D land, Mich., finished fourth, missing a medal by .23 seconds. . . . Winning the relay in 3:42.84 were Andy Gill of Orlando. Fla.. Hans Dersch of Atlanta. Mike Merrell of Charlotte, N.C.. and Joel Thomas of Pasadena, Calif. . . . Kristen Top ham, from Toronto, interrupted the UJS. gold harvest by taking the 50 freestyle in 26.01 seconds, breaking the Games record and tying the Canadian mark. Heather Hageman of West-port. Conn., and Allison Bock of Lafayette, Ind., finished 2-3. -.(FraniUCCaoi wlre.reports)

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