Friday, October 14, 2011

USA aiming for the Gold Medal in Guadalajara

Official logo of the 2011 Pan American Games

As the countdown to the 2011 Pan American Games continues the USA have come out and said that they are targetting the Gold Medal. The two days Rugby Sevens event is to be the first ever in the history of the Pan American Games, taking place on October 29-30 in Mexico´s second largest city, Guadalajara. The inclusion of rugby in the intercontinental event is vastly important and has been received well ni the USA as it means that for the first time the USA Eagles Sevens team will have the chance of being alongside Summer Olympians and Paralympians to compete for Gold. In world rugby the USA ranks 12th in Sevens, second in the Americas behind Argentina who enter the tournament as favorites to win Gold. The two countries plus Canada are the biggest in the Americas having all done well at Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

In total there are eight teams divided into two pools of four for the Guadalajara event. Four of the countries come from the CONSUR region, which is the governing body for rugby in South America, while the remaning four come from NACRA which governs ruigby in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The stucture of the tournament will see all teams finish with a ranking from 1-8 with the top three taking home medals. In order to have a chance of winning a medal it is crucial that one gets through the Pool phase in first or second position. Argentina leads Pool A where they will compete against Guyana, Mexico and Uruguay with Uruguay likely to finish in second position behind the favorites for the Gold Medal, Argentina. Pool B looms as being a more competitive affair with a number of upsets seemingly highly possible. The USA Eagles are the favorites to win the Pool but Canada are very, very close and so the USA vs Canada match is to be the key fixture of the pool stage. The other two teams are Brazil and Chile with Brazil showing tremendous progress in 2011 to defeat Argentina for the first time ever. Whoever wins the Group is all but assured of a place in the Final vs Argentina.

With Thanks: http://www.usarugby.org/

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