Cuba Rolls to Five Golds at Pan-Am Championships as United States Claims Team Title

By Jason Bryant

MEXICO CITY - Cuba’s domination of Greco-Roman wrestling at the Pan American level continued Tuesday at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, with the island nation taking home five individual titles to lead the tournament's gold medal count.

Led by five champions, Cuba cruised going an impropable 22-1 on the day. The charge was led by five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic champion Mijain LOPEZ (CUB), who blitzed the field and won his ninth Pan American Championships title and his 12th Pan Am gold. He's won the Pan Am Games three times.

The United States won the team title with 62 points, earning medals at seven weights, including champions Andy BISEK (75kg) and Jon ANDERSON (80kg). Venezuela was runner-up with 59 points with Wuileixis RIVAS taking gold at 71kg. Cuba finished in third with 58 points, but didn't enter wrestlers at the non-Olympic weights of 71kg and 80kg.

Tuesday's gold medal haul gives Cuba 31 gold medals at the Pan American championships since 2009, good for 72-percent of all golds during that timeframe.

Of the 22 victories, 17 were by technical fall and they tacked on four more falls. Every victory by the Cubans on Tuesday was worth four classification points, or better. Statistically, Cuban wrestlers outscored their opponents 168-10, with eight of them yielded by one wrestler. Four Cuban champions didn't give up a point in the tournament.

Weight-by-Weight Wrap

Ismael BORRERO (CUB) claimed his third Pam American gold by dominating the field at 59kg. The 22-year-old beat each of his four opponents by technical fall and outscored the opposition by a combined 37-0. Borrero dispatched with Jansel Rafael RAMIREZ (DOM) 13-0 in the gold-medal final. Borrero was 11th at last year's World Championships. Spenser MANGO (USA) and Raibert RODRIGUEZ (VEN) won bronze medals.

Miguel MARTINEZ (CUB) kept the Cuban momentum rolling, scoring an 9-0 technical fall over Bryce SADDORIS (USA) to claim the championship at 66kg. Like Borrero, Martinez teched four straight opponents and only surrendered two during the course of the tournament. It's the second straight international gold for Martinez, who won the Cerro Pelado International held in Cuba back in February. Jair CUERO (COL) and Angel YOKOPICIO (MEX) won bronze medals.

The only weight contested with a round-robin format came at 71kg, where Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN) beat three other wrestlers to claim the gold medal. His 4-1 victory over eventual silver medalist Ellis COLEMAN (USA) was the difference. Rivas also defeated Milton GUALPA (GUA) 8-0 and Adolfo MONDEZ (MEX) 8-0. It was Rivas' first Pan American Championship. His previous best performance was a bronze-medal finish at the 2009 Pan Ams at 60kg. It's also the top international finish of his career.

Andy BISEK (USA) claimed one of two golds for the United States. Bisek went 4-0 and pinned Ivan DUQUE (COL) 21 seconds into the second period to earn his second Pan American gold. He previously won the Pan Ams in 2012. Bisek is currently ranked 16th in the world. He defeated Julio BASTIDA (CUB) 5-1 in the semifinals. Bastida and Maximiliano PRIDENCANO (ARG) won bronze medals.

Jon ANDERSON (USA) won the second U.S. gold at the non-Olympic weight of 80kg. Anderson defeated Matthew MILLER (CAN) 11-0 in 2:27. It's the first international gold medal won by Anderson in his career. Luis RIVERA (MEX) and Carlos MUNOZ (COL) won bronze medals. Miller's silver was one of two medals won in Greco-Roman by Canada, a nation that traditionally doesn't wrestle much in the style.

While currently unranked in the world, Pablo SHOREY HERNANDEZ (CUB) showed why he's been a two-time medalist at the World Championships, tech falling three opponents en route to the final and then pinning Eidel SILVA (VEN) in just 29 seconds to capture a third Pan American Championship. Shorey Hernandez was a World silver medalist in 2010 after finishing with a bronze the year prior. Jancel MERCEDES (DOM) and Jake Fisher (USA) won bronze medals.

Ranked 15th in the world, Yasmany LUGO (CUB) kept the Cuban championships coming in. Lugo, now a four-time Pan American champion, teched two opponents and pinned the other two to win gold. His championship final against Oscar LOANGO (COL)  lasted just 56 seconds. Lugo spent a combined 3:10 on the mat for his semifinal and finals bouts. Lugo didn't give up a point in the tournament. Luillys PEREZ (VEN)  and Joannis WARDOLIS (CAN) won bronze medals.

As mentioned above, World No. 2 Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) won his ninth Pan American Championship by winning three matches to claim gold. He teched Ramon GARCIA (DOM) 8-0 in the championship final. Arguably one of the World's best Greco-Roman wrestlers ever, Lopez outscored opponents 20-0. Niko BOGOJEVIC (USA) and Antonio SANTOS (BRA) won bronze medals.

GOLD: Ismael BORRERO (CUB) df. Jansel Rafael RAMIREZ (DOM) by TF13-0
BRONZE: Spenser MANGO (USA) df. Jose Luis MAGALLANES (PER) 8-1
BRONZE: Raibert RODRIGUEZ (VEN) df. Juan Carlos LOPEZ (COL) by TF, 8-0

Isamel BORRERO (CUB) df. Spenser MANGO (USA) by TF, 8-0
Jansel Rafael RAMIREZ (DOM) df. Juan Carlos LOPEZ (COL) by TF, 8-0

GOLD: Miguel MARTINEZ (CUB) df. Bryce SADDORIS (USA) by TF, 9-0
BRONZE: Jair CUERO (COL) df. Manuel TORRES (VEN) by FALL, 1:05
BRONZE: Angel YOKOPICIO (MEX) df. Moises SOTO (PAN) by TF, 8-0

Bryce SADDORIS (USA) df. Jair CUERO (COL)  by FALL, 4:31
Miguel MARTINEZ (CUB) df. Angel YOKOPICIO (MEX) by TF, 8-0

GOLD: Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN)

Round 1
Ellis COLEMAN (USA) df. Adolfo MONDEZ (MEX) 3-1
Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN) df. Milton GUALPA (ECU) by TF, 8-0

Round 2
Milton GUALPA (ECU) df. Adolfo MONDEZ (MEX) 8-5
Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN) df. Ellis COLEMAN (USA) 4-1

Round 3
Ellis COLEMAN (USA) df. Milton GUALPA (ECU) 7-0
Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN) df. Adolfo MONDEZ (MEX) 8-0

GOLD: Andy BISEK (USA) df. Ivan DUQUE (COL) by FALL, 3:21
BRONZE: Maximiliano PRIDENCANO (ARG) df. Alvaro HUBIERA (DOM) 4-0
BRONZE: Julio BASTIDA (CUB) df. Luis AVENDANO (VEN) by disq. 4:47.

Ivan DUQUE (COL) df. Maximiliano PRIDENCANO (ARG) 6-2
Andy BISEK (USA) df. Julio BASTIDA (CUB) 5-1

GOLD: Jon ANDERSON (USA) df. Matthew MILLER (CAN) by TF, 11-0.
BRONZE: Luis RIVERA (MEX) df. Daniel FERREIRA (BRA) by TF, 8-0
BRONZE: Carlos MUNOZ (COL) df. Bravlio VARGAS (VEN) by TF, 9-0

Matthew MILLER (CAN) df. Luis RIVERA (MEX) by TF, 8-0
Jon ANDERSON (USA) df. Carlos MUNOZ (COL) by TF, 8-0

BRONZE: Jake FISHER (USA) df. Cristian MOSQUERA (COL) by TF, 8-0

Eidel SILVA (VEN) df. Oscar MONTONRAZ (HON) by FALL, 1:08
Pablo SHOREY HERNANDEZ (CUB) df. Cristian MOSQUERA (COL) by TF, 8-0

GOLD: Yasmany LUGO (CUB) df. Oscar LOANGO (COL) by FALL, 0:56
BRONZE: Luillys PEREZ (VEN) df. Jose Antonio ARIAS (DOM) by FALL, 0:57
BRONZE: Joannis WARDOLIS (CAN) df. Kempton APAREICIO (PAN) by FALL, 1:45

Yasmany LUGO (CUB) df. Jose Antonio ARIAS (DOM) by FALL, 0:48
Oscar LOANGO (COL) df. Kempton APARECIO (PAN) 2:14

GOLD: Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) df. Ramon GARCIA (DOM) by TF, 8-0.
BRONZE: Antonio SANTOS (BRA) df. Moises PEREZ (VEN) by FALL, :23
BRONZE: Nico BOGOJEVIC (USA) df. Eduardo LOPEZ (PUR) 6-0

Ramon GARCIA (DOM) df. Antonio SANTOS (BRA) by TF, 8-0
Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) df. Niko BOGOJEVIC (USA) by TF, 8-0