Lima, July 28, 2019: USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Peruvian Diego Elias, both ranked eight in the world, celebrated historic Squash success in the XVIII Pan American Games in the Peru capital Lima.
Harvard graduate Sobhy became the first woman to win individual gold in successive XVIII Pan American Games when she beat her US team-mate Olivia Blatchford Clyne in a repeat of the 2015 final in Toronto.
Sobhy (pictured above on the podium) suffered a career-threatening Achilles injury two years ago which resulted in a 10-month layoff.
But the 26-year-old from New York, the highest-ranked US-born player of all-time, has bounced back to her best – dismissing world No.19 Blatchford Clyne 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 in 33 minutes in the gold medal playoff at the Villa Deportiva Nacional Videna in Lima.
“Stoked to defend my 2015 PanAm Games gold medal today in the Individual Event!” Sobhy later told her Twitter followers.
Winning their country’s first medals in the Games, Canadians Hollie Naughton and Samantha Cornett claimed the Bronze medals.
It was a historic first squash gold medal in the Games for hosts Peru when top seed Diego Elias defeated Colombia’s defending champion Miguel Rodriguez 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 in 65 minutes in the men’s final.
The triumph – before a jubilant and packed partisan crowd at the Videna venue (pictured above) – was revenge for Elias’s defeat in the 2015 final, when former British Open champion Rodriguez won his second successive singles gold medal.
The victory also marked the 22-year-old Peruvian’s first ever win over his 33-year-old regional rival from Bogota – the highest-ranked South American of all-time – in seven meetings since 2014.
Bronze medals went to Mexican Cesar Salazar and Argentina’s 5/8 seed Robertino Pezzota, a 36-year-old from Rosario who was the only player to be making his fifth successive Games appearance since making his debut in 2003 in the Dominican Republic.
(Medallists pictured below, L to R: Rodriguez, Elias, Pezzota & Salazar). —- WSF