Brazil proved too strong for Paraguay in sweeping to table tennis gold ©Brazilian Olympic Committee

Brazil's men and United States' women were equally impressive in dominating their respective team table tennis finals here on a day in which Canada opened track and field athletics competition with four gold medals.

The table tennis event may have been lacking the quality on show at other recent multi-sport Games but, with a group of green-clad Brazilians leading the way, a strong atmosphere was generated nevertheless by a near-capacity crowd enraptured by every rally.

Following a comfortable 3-1 opening victory for Zheng Jiaqi over Gui Lin to get the US off to a strong start, the key contest in the women's event saw Lily Zhang, a bronze medallist in the singles at last year's Summer's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, take on fellow 19-year-old Caroline Kumahara.

Californian Zhang, the only US team member to have been born in America, always appeared the stronger player but her tenacious opponent twice fought her way back into it before squandering a match point in a pulsating fifth game which Zhang eventually won 12-10.

From then on there was no way back for Brazil as Chinese-born pairing Wu Yue and Zheng Jiaqi completed the job with a 3-0 doubles triumph.

Medal winners pose for a selfie following the women's team table tennis competition ©ITTF
Medal winners pose for a selfie following the women's team table tennis competition ©ITTF

Up against a plucky Paraguayan team who had already exceeded expectations in making the final, their male counterparts were always likely to make amends, particularly after rising star Hugo Calderano cruised through his opening match against Alejandro Toranzos in three straight games.

Veteran Thiago Monteiro then saved game points in the first game but then dominated against Paraguay's key player Marcelo Aguirre, before Calderano and Tsuboi took the doubles to confirm the 3-0 win.

Even without many top names, the athletics competition is still blessed with quality at these Games as was shown this morning by some blistering 100 metres heat times which included a Games record 10.92sec for US contender Barbara Pierre.

But it was Canada, a less heralded athletics nation, who proved strongest on day one.

After victories in the opening session for Elizabeth Gleadle in the javelin and for Shawn Barber in the pole vault, a further win came this evening for 3,000m steeplechaser Matt Hughes.

Somalian-born local star Mohammed Ahmed then provided the highlight, superbly winning a three-way sprint at the end of the 10,000m in 28min 49.86sec to edge out US hope Aron Rono and Mexico defending 5,000m champion Juan Luis Barrios.

Other highlights today included a first Jamaican gold at the Games after O'Dayne Richards shot putted a superb 21.69 metres to break Pan American Games and national record marks.

Colombia's world champion Caterine Ibarguen, meanwhile, gained a typically dominant victory in the triple jump with a wind-assisted best leap of 15.08m.

Queen Harrison produced some much-needed US success on the track in the final event, speeding home to win the 100m hurdles in a Games record 12.52 ahead of compatriot Tenaya Jones and Canada's Nikkita Holder.

Four Canadian gold medal were won as action began in track and field, including in the men's pole vault ©Getty Images
Four Canadian gold medal were won as action began in track and field, including in the men's pole vault ©Getty Images

Elsewhere on day 11, reigning Olympic champion Ruben Limardo-Gascon secured Venezuelan victory in the men's epee fencing, while America's Katherine Holmes won the corresponding women's event.

Another US victory came in taekwondo courtesy of London 2012 bronze medallist Paige McPherson in the under 67kg event, while Cuba's Jose Cobas beat Dominican Republic's Moises Hernandez at under 80kg.

US veteran Steven Lopez, the Olympic champion at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, winner of Pan American Games titles at Winnipeg 1999 and Santa Domingo 2003, had to settle for bronze at the age of 36.

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