Mixed emotions at the final whistle as Canada fought back to claim rugby sevens glory over Argentina ©Getty Images

With seven seconds left in the rugby sevens final here, Harry Jones muscled his way over the line to score a gold medal winning try and cap a remarkable day of comebacks for his team, as well as a second successive day packed to the rafters with home success at the Pan American Games.

As well as a rugby sevens double, two gold medals were won in cross country mountain biking as well as further victories in diving and shooting to leave the hosts three titles clear of United States at the top of the medals table.

Rugby sevens, a sport set to debut at next year's Olympic Games in Rio, was always set to be a highlight here as thousands of fans packed into a stadium which is usually home of Toronto FC.

They were not disappointed as the nation recovered from the verge of a shock defeat to win 17-12 over Chile in extra-time of their quarter-final before requiring a last minute try to overcome arch rivals United States and reach the final with a 26-19 triumph.

But the best was yet to come, as the hosts were forced to get into their dig deepest against tough Argentinean opposition who scored two early tries and led throughout the match. 

Until the final seconds that is, as a cross-field kick was gather by Jones who forced his way over the line, stretching out an arm to touch the ball down after seemingly having been held up inches short.

“I don’t know," the match-winner answered when asked how he had got over the line.

"I was backing up into it and maybe just put a good kick in there and drive my way back.

"I think the boys might have given me a push too, I’m not sure."

Canada had earlier romped to the women's rugby sevens title after humbling United States in the final ©Getty Images
Canada had earlier romped to the women's rugby sevens title after humbling United States in the final ©Getty Images

His team still had to withstand one final Argentinean assault but when the ball went loose it was gratefully booted into the stand for a 22-19 win as the crowd roared, with Canada having not only successfully defended their title but doing so after overcoming two teams ranked higher then them in the World Rugby Sevens series rankings.

Ranked second in the world, their female counterparts were always heavily favoured to win gold on the events debut on the Pan American programme, but their margin of victory was even greater than expectations.

After Kristen Thomas sprinted to a solo opening try for the Americans, the home side scored nine without response to run out 55-7 winners.

Karen Paquin led the way with a hatrick of tries, while Ashley Steacy and Ghislaine Laudry scored two each to set the team up for a medals push next year.

Emily Batty will be another athlete now focusing on Olympic success after beating her more established team mate Catherine Pendrel in the women's mountain biking competition, while Raphaël Gagne took a breakthrough victory in the corresponding men's race.

Olympic bronze medallist Jennifer Abel became the first non-Mexican to claim gold in diving, winning the 3m springboard, while 10m air pistol shooter Lynda Kiejko was another home winner.

In the latter half of the day, however, there was a feeling that a sleeping giant had awoken as four United States titles were won.

Amelia Hundley excelling on the uneven bars en route to United States team gold in gymnastics ©Getty Images
Amelia Hundley excelling on the uneven bars en route to United States team gold in gymnastics ©Getty Images

Two of these came courtesy of team victories over Canada, in dressage and women's artistic gymnastics, while under 57 kilograms judoka Marti Malloy and 10km open water swimming Chip Peterson also finished top of their respective podiums.

Another nation to have enjoyed a hugely successful day was Colombia, who claimed all three weightlifting titles up for grabs today as well as further victory in roller speed skating.

The highlight came in the men's under 69kg event in which world junior champion Luis Mosquera Lozano broke three Pan American Games record in setting a winning combined mark of 331kg.

Brazil claimed two titles courtesy of under 66kg judoka Charles Chibana and pistol shooter Felipe Almeida Wu, while under 73kg judoka Magdiel Estrada and the men's K4 1000m canoe sprint quartet each claimed Cuban victories.

And almost at the same time as their gut-wrenching disappointment in rugby sevens, Argentina found some solace with a first gold of the Games as 17-year-old Giselle Soler ensured the roller figure skating competition remained a family affair after dominating an event won four years ago by elder sister Elizabeth.

Related stories
July 2015:
Canada prosper on dramatic first day of medals action at Toronto 2015
July 2015: Riveros wins Pan American Games women's triathlon gold to earn Chile Rio 2016 berth
July 2015: Michael Pavitt: Toronto 2015 deliver well-crafted and inclusive Opening Ceremony
July 2015: Toronto 2015 declared open with tributes to athletic past and youthful future