PR delegation leaves Santiago with 20 medals, 2 Olympic berths
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico concluded its participation in the 19th Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile on Sunday with 20 medals and two athletes having secured berths at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
In table tennis, Adriana Díaz stood out by winning a gold medal in singles on Nov. 1, becoming the athlete from Puerto Rico with the most medals all-time in the continental games. Her three medals in Santiago brought her Pan American Games total to eight going back to 2015. In archery, opening ceremony flagbearer Jean Pizarro Latorre earned the island’s first gold medal in that discipline. Janessa Fonseca Romero, who was the flagbearer along with Pizarro Latorre during the closing ceremony, took gold in karate, marking a milestone for Puerto Rican women in that martial art.
In track and field, heptathlete Alysbeth Félix and high jumper Luis Joel Castro won silver medals, becoming the first to do so for Puerto Rico in their events. In judo, Puerto Rican women María Pérez, the delegation’s other opening ceremony flagbearer, and Sairy Colón won silver medals at 70 and 78 kilograms, respectively. The Puerto Rico women’s softball team earned silver for its sixth Pan American medal all-time, and the women’s table tennis team added another silver to the tally.
The bronze was also significant, with Cristian Azcona in bowling and Ashleyann Lozada in boxing, who also secured her place in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Nelson Alberto Guilme Morales in gymnastics, Darian Toi Cruz and Joseph Andrés Silva in wrestling, Steven Yancy Piñeiro in skateboarding, Mariecarmen Rivera in surfing, the Díaz sisters Adriana and Melanie in table tennis doubles, and Arelis Medina and Luis “Gaby” Colón Maldonado in taekwondo, all earned bronze medals.
Table tennis was the most successful sport for Puerto Rico, with women leading the way. In total, Puerto Rico divided its medals between 11 for women, eight for men and one in a mixed category. The Santiago edition marked the eighth time that Puerto Rico reached or exceeded 20 medals at the Pan American Games.
Sailor Pedro “Pedruco” Fernández was the other Puerto Rican competitor in Santiago to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics. He placed sixth or better among boats from North America and the Caribbean in the regulatory regattas to punch his ticket to Paris next year, according to the Puerto Rico Sailing Federation.