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Johnson takes bronze in singles bowling at Pan Am Games

TORONTO – For the second straight Pan Am Games, Cheektowaga’s Hall of Fame bowler Liz Johnson will head home with two medals.

But unlike Guadalajara in 2011, when she won gold in both singles and doubles, this time she’ll leave with a silver and a bronze.

After coming in second Thursday in doubles, alongside Shannon Pluhowsky, Johnson collected the bronze in Saturday’s individual competition. Pluhowsky took gold while Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republican won silver.

“I had a good week all week,” said the 41-year-old Johnson. “Today was not the way I wanted to end. Obviously, I would have preferred the gold. I probably didn’t bowl to 100 percent of my abilities but I was still able to get a bronze medal and still did the best I could. You can’t hang your head about it. I am happy to bring home another medal. And you have to look at all the positives. ”

At the top of that list, she said, was “enjoying the excitement of the Pan Am Games.

“It was a fun, enjoyable week,” said Johnson, who was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in April and named U.S. Female Bowler of the Decade in 2010.

Johnson lost her semifinal match to Guerra, 258-181.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to go to two Pan Am Games in Argentina and Mexico before this, but we had to fly out, so tomorrow night will be my first closing ceremony, before I drive home Monday morning, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

She said that with the buzz around the Pan Am Games being so different than any other competition on her calendar, she still hopes that the International Olympic Committee will bring bowling into the Olympics and she’ll have a chance to represent Team USA on that grand stage.

In the meantime, she said she hopes to qualify for the 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru.

“I hope I’ll be there and it’s something that I will look forward to if I had the opportunity to get involved. But four years from now it’s hard to say. Four years ago I didn’t think I’d be here so you never know,” she said.