LIMA, Peru — The Canadian men's field hockey team will have to take the longer road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Canada missed out on its first chance to qualify, falling 5-2 to reigning Olympic champion Argentina in the final of the Pan American Games on Saturday.
The tournament winner earned a direct berth to Tokyo. Canada will now play in a playoff later this year for the right to go to the Summer Games.
Captain Scott Tupper and Gordon Johnston scored for Canada in the final.
"Right now, we are good enough to beat the teams that are a little bit behind us. But the bigger teams, like Argentina, are just a step or two ahead of us," Tupper said.
"We need to find a way to close that gap and we need to do that soon in the next couple of months. We will learn from it and see what we can do and be ready come October."
TRACK AND FIELD
Canada's Genevieve Lalonde won the gold medal in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase and Marco Arop took gold in the men's 800 metres Saturday.
Both athletes set Pan Am records in their respective events.
Arop, from Edmonton, finished in a personal-best time of one minute 44.48 seconds. Wesley Vazquez of Puerto Rico was second in 1:44.48 and Ryan Sanchez, also of Puerto Rico, was third in 1:45.19.
"I'm on top of the world right now," said Arop, who overtook Vazquez in the final straight. "It can't get better than this."
The previous Pan Am record was 1:44.58, set by Cuba's Yeimer Lopez in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
"I don't know what to think of that. Times were the last thing on my mind. I was just hoping to win a medal for Canada," Arop said. "To have a personal best and Pan Am Games record is just extra. That's just a bonus right there."
Lalonde, from Moncton, N.B., raced to victory in a Pan Am-record time of 9:41.45.
Marisa Howard of the United States was second in 9:43.78 and Belen Casetta of Argentina was third in 9:44.46.
Brazil's Tatiane Da Silva, who finished fourth, led the pack at the 1,000-metre mark. But Lalonde took over by the 2,000-metre and held on over the final third of the race.
Lalonde eclipsed the Pan Am record of 9:48.12 set by American Ashley Higginson set at the 2015 Games in Toronto.
"Representing Canada every time is just such an honour and every time I put that Canadian flag on, you want to do your best for your country so being able to bring home gold in a field like today's, it definitely means a lot," she said.
The medals brought Canada's athletics haul to five gold and 14 overall in Lima.
Canada settled for silver after losing 3-1 to the United States in the women's grand final. Holly Speers of Surrey, B.C., drove in a run for Canada in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 1-1, but the Americans scored two in the bottom of the sixth and held Canada scoreless in the top of the seventh to come away with the win.
Canada took silver in the men's team sabre, losing to the U.S., in the final.
Shaul Gordon of Richmond, B.C., and Joseph Polossifakis and Fares Arfa of Laval, Que., represented Canada.
"I think this is one of the closest we’ve come to beating the U.S, we've fenced them every year and it doesn’t feel too good right now because we could almost taste it," Gordon said.
Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., shot a third round of 3-under 68 to move into medal contention in women's individual competition. Thibault enters Sunday's final round tied for fifth at 2 over, two shots back of third-place Paula Hurtado of Colombia and three back of second-place Julieta Granada of Paraguay. Emilia Migliaccio of the U.S. has a comfortable lead at 7 under. Mary Parsons of Delta, B.C., the first-round leader, struggled with a round of 4-over 75 and fell into a tie for seventh at 3 over.
In men's competition, Austin Connelly, a dual Canadian-American citizen who competes for Canada, was tied for sixth at 8 under and two shots off of third place after a round-best score of 6-under 65. Joey Savoie of La Prairie, Que., struggled to a third round of 5 over and was at 8 over through three rounds.
Luke Ramsay of Vancouver won his second straight silver at the Pan Ams in the Sunfish.
Daniel Gaysinsky of Vaughan took silver in the men's kumite 84 kg, while Kate Campbell of Fredericton, N.B., was second in the women's kumite 55 kg.
Jevon Balfour of Brampton, Ont., (74 kg) and Korey Jarvis (125 kg) of Elliot Lake, Ont., won bronze medals.