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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Swimmers Ruiz, Morales advance to finals at Pan Am Games

Xavier Ruiz

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rican swimmers Xavier Ruiz and Yeziel Morales qualified on Monday for their respective A finals on the third day of swimming at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Ruiz, who clocked a time of 2 minutes,15.06 seconds, joins a select group of Puerto Ricans who have reached finals in the 200-meter breaststroke in past editions of the Pan Ams.

“It is an honor to join this group,” said Ruiz, remembering the Puerto Rican swimmers who preceded him in such an achievement.

Morales, meanwhile, advanced to the final in the 100-meter backstroke event with a time of 55.90 seconds, being one of 26 swimmers who competed in the heats.

At the Pan American Games, the best swimmers advance to the A final to compete for medals, while the remaining eight compete in the B final for the ninth- to 16th-place positions.

Meanwhile, Olympic taekwondo athlete Crystal Weekes was set on Monday to compete in the bronze medal round in the +67 kilogram category, seeking her first Pan American medal.

Prior to her defeat in the semifinals, Weekes had notched a 2-0 victory over Dominican Katherine Rodríguez, an Olympian in Tokyo 2020.

Skateboarder Piñeiro nabs PR’s 4th bronze medal

Steven Piñeiro won the fourth bronze medal for Puerto Rico at the Pan Am Games on Sunday in the debuting skateboard event.

“I like to represent Puerto Rico,” Piñeiro said in a written statement. “I wanted to do something better. In the last routine, the last trick was not on time. I couldn’t win gold, but could still win a medal. It is a source of pride to represent Puerto Rico, always.”

“I can never have any doubt in myself,” added Piñeiro, who has the goal of winning a gold medal in the Olympic Games. “That’s what I’m doing to myself in every routine I do. I feel 100 percent confident in myself.”

Piñeiro, along with Vianez Morales and Emanuel “Manny” Santiago, were the first skateboarders to compete in the sport making its debut at the Pan American Games.

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