Saturday, October 29, 2011
Kelley and Courtney Hurley win gold
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Finally, there were enough gold medals to go around for the Hurley family.
Three days after Kelley Hurley beat younger sister Courtney in the women's epee final at the Pan American Games, the sisters joined with Lindsay Campbell to give the United States gold in the team event Saturday in Guadalajara.
"Silver, gold? We consider it two golds," Courtney said. "Technically, everybody sees us as silver and gold, but we consider it in our household as two golds."
The victory was part of a near American sweep in the fencing events at the games. The United States won 11 of the 12 gold medals in the sport, including the men's team sabre on Saturday. And, as Courtney knows, they won a few other medals as well.
"Courtney and I are a team and one of us had to win, but I'm glad we had to meet in the gold-medal bout," said the 23-year-old Kelley, who is 2 years older than her sister. "She's my blood."
The Americans won six gold medals on Day 15 of the games, including the men's water polo title. Christine McRea won the individual jumping equestrian event, while Carrie Johnson won the K1 200-meter kayak race and Shannon Nishi won the women's 55-kilogram karate gold.
In the medals table, the United States has won 92 gold and 234 overall. Cuba is second with 58 gold and 136 overall.
Fourteen of the U.S. medals came in fencing alone.
"That's awesome," Kelley Hurley said. "It's a little nerve-racking before we actually got it because we didn't want to be the only ones that didn't get the medal. But it all worked out. We got to contribute to the gold medal count."
The next step is to do the same thing at next year's London Olympics.
The U.S. hasn't yet qualified, but they are in a good position. And the Hurley sisters expect to be on that team when the time comes.
"I never like to say it's for sure until it's for sure," said Kelley, who was also on the team at the 2008 Beijing Games. "I was only like 19. I was the youngest woman by far. It was really more of a test run Olympics."
Now there's a very real possibility for a rematch in the Olympic final.
"That's just ... that's our dream to meet each other for gold in the Olympics," Courtney said. "I don't even know what we would do then. We got to get to that point first and figure it out later."
The water polo team will be in London after defeating Canada 7-3 in the final.
"This is huge," said Tony Azevedo, who scored three goals for the Americans. "Now we can take some time off and then focus only on London and not have to worry about qualifying only a couple of months (before) the Olympic Games."
The women's water polo team qualified on Friday, also beating Canada in the final.
The men's basketball team didn't fare as well. After losing their final group game to Uruguay, the Americans lost to host Mexico 71-55 in the semifinals.
The Americans will face Puerto Rico in the bronze medal game Sunday, the last day of competition at the games.
"We got to bounce back," U.S. coach Nate Tibbetts said. "Obviously we are disappointed as anyone would be, but tomorrow's game is a big one. Not a lot people can say they won a bronze medal."