U.S. Women’s Doubles Team Wins Gold, Men’s Doubles Take Silver in Wheelchair Tennis at Parapan American Games
By Marvin Olberding
RIO DE JANEIRO – One day before facing each other in the women’s singles final, Beth Arnoult-Ritthaler (Paia, Hawaii) and Kaitlyn Verfuerth (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) joined forces to win the women’s doubles gold medal Thursday during wheelchair tennis action at the Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The duo defeated Brazil’s Samantha Almeida and Rajane Candida in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, to earn the victory in front of a loud crowd at the Marapendi Club.
The men’s doubles final also featured teams from the U.S. and Brazil, as Jon Rydberg (Oakdale, Minn.) and Lee Hinson (Wallan, Australia/Jacksonville, Fla.) looked to make it a U.S. sweep against Mauricio Pomme and Carlos Santos. Much to the chagrin of the U.S. team, and to the delight of a large majority of the fans attending the match, that was not the case, as the Brazilians closed out the night with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 victory.
The all-U.S. women's singles final between Arnoult-Ritthaler and Verfuerth takes place at Center Court at 10:00 a.m. Their match will be followed by the men's bronze medal match, which will immediately be followed by the men's singles final between Rydberg and Chile's Robinson Mendez. Friday's matches will close out wheelchair tennis competition at the 2007 Parapan American Games.