SPORTS

Pan Am Games: What you need to know for Saturday

07/11/2015 12:18 EDT | Updated 07/10/2016 05:59 EDT
Canada will go for a gold medal in softball on Day 8 of the Pan Am Games, while the athletics program gets underway with an early morning marathon and swimming star Ryan Cochrane tries for his second title in as many days.

Here's what you need to know for Saturday:

1. Diamond double

It's a big day for Canada at the Aiax Pan Am Ball Park, with a pair of crucial games in softball and baseball.

The men's softball team will play for gold at 3 p.m. ET against the winner of the Argentina vs. Venezuela game earlier in the day. Canada enters the final with a perfect 6-0 record, including a defeat of Argentina in the semifinals. Canada has won softball gold every time it has been included in the Pan Ams, while the U.S. has won silver each of those times.

Later, the Canadian men's baseball team will continue defence of its Pan Am gold medal when it takes on Puerto Rico in a semifinal at 7 p.m. ET. Canada enters the game with a 5-1 record after falling to the U.S. Friday by a score of 4-1. The U.S. will take on Cuba in the other semifinal. The gold-medal game will be Sunday. 

2. Morning marathon 

Canada's Rachel Hannah and Catherine Watkins will compete in the women's marathon Saturday morning as the gun goes off on athletics competition. The 28-year-old Hannah, who is from Toronto, was the top Canadian woman in this year's Ottawa Marathon, while Watkins, 43, is one of Canada's oldest Pan Am athletes. Both will try to take down defending the champion from Brazil, Adriana Da Silva, who set the Pan Am record back at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara.

The race will take place at 7:05 a.m. ET, starting at the Ontario Place West Channel location near the shore of Lake Ontario. Runners hope the early start helps keep them cool, as temperatures are set to approach 30 Celsius (closer to 40 with the humidity) later in the day.

3. Cochrane goes for another gold 

The swimming program will finish in style with two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane, who won a gold medal in the men's 400-metre freestyle Friday, taking to the pool in his best discipline, the 1500m freestyle. The 26-year-old from Victoria won a bronze in this discipline at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, while improving to a silver at the 2012 London Games.

In addition to the men's 1500, Canada will contend for the medals in the finals of the women's 800 free, the women's and men's 4x100 medley relay, and the women's and men's 200 individual medley. Canada has seven gold medals and 23 overall in swimming competition heading into Saturday's races.

MORE:cbcSports