July 12, 2015 / 4:15 PM / 4 years ago

Mexico's Grajales wins triathlon and Rio Olympic berth

Jul 12, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Crisanto Grajales of Mexico and Irving Perez of Mexcio reacts at the finish line the men's triathlon during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Ontario Place West Channel. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO (Reuters) - Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales took the gold medal in the men’s triathlon at the Pan American Games on Sunday to claim an automatic qualifying spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Grajales, 28th at the London Olympics and currently 10th in the International Triathlon Union’s rankings, finished with a time of one hour, 48 minutes, 58 seconds chased to the wire by American Kevin McDowell, who crossed one second back to take silver.

Irving Perez grabbed the bronze to give Mexico two places on the podium.

Triathlon is one of a handful of sports at the July 10-26 Pan Am Games that offer athletes a chance to secure a spot in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which are scheduled for Aug. 5-21 next year.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Mark Meadows

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