TORONTO, Canada (July 20, 2015) -- Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.) captured the first medal for Team USA's taekwondo squad at the 2015 Pam American Games in Toronto on Monday and she did it in convincing style. Lewis outscored her opponents in the women's -57kg division by a combined 27-8 in her three matches, including a decisive 11-0 victory over Mexico's Paulina Armeria in the gold medal final.
"This is my biggest win yet, it's the biggest event I've competed in," said Lewis. "The crowd was amazing, so that helped. Paulina (Armeria) and I are good friends, but on the mat, you have to do your best."
Lewis opened the competition Monday at the Mississauga Sports Centre with an 8-6 win over Cuba's Yamicel Nunez and went on to defeat Colombia's Doris Patino, 8-2, in the semis to set up the final match with Armeria. Nunez and Patino went on to claim the two bronze medals.
Also on Monday, Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) was looking to repeat as a Pan Am Games medalist after winning bronze four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. He began the day with a 12-11 victory over Venezuela's Edgar Contreras to reach the semifinal round in the men's -68kg class, but suffered a 13-11 defeat to Canada's Maxime Potvin. In that match, Jennings put on a furious rally with 10 points in the final round but fell just short. In the bronze-medal match, Jennings lost a 16-6 decision to Colombia's Miguel Angel Trejos.
Mexico's Saul Gutierrez defeated Potvin for the gold medal while Puerto Rico's Luis Colon III claimed the other bronze medal.
On Sunday's opening day of competition, Logan Gerick (Keller, Texas) defeated Nicaragua's Danilo Castillo, 4-3, in the men's -58kg division, but lost his quarterfinal match, 12-8, to Brazil's Venilton Torres. Mexico's Carlos Navarro won the gold medal over Dominican Republic's Luistio Pie, while the bronze medals went to Argentina's Lucas Guzman and Colombia's Harold Avella.
In women's -49kg action on Sunday, Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.) lost her opening match in overtime, 4-1, to Guatemala's Elizabeth Zamora. Cuba's Yania Aguirre claimed the gold medal, Mexico's Itzel Manjarrez took silver, and Brazil's Iris Silva and Dominican Republic's Candelaria Martes claimed the bronze medals.
Action continues on Tuesday with Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) in the men's -80kg division and Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) in the women's -67kg class.