Pan Am Games, Toronto

Lopez Goes For Fourth Gold in Pan American Games Wrestling

By William May

TORONTO (July 13) – Five-time world champion Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) attempts to become the third wrestler in Pan American Games history to win four gold medals when action gets under Wednesday in Mississagua, west of Toronto.

If successful, Lopez will join Greco-Roman greats Hector MILIAN (CUB) and Juan MAREN (CUB) as the only winners of four gold medals in Pan American Games wrestling.

Milian won four gold medals from 1987 to 1999 at 100kg and 130kg, while Maren struck gold four times (1991-2003) at 62kg, 63kg and 66kg.

In addition to his three Games’ gold medals, Lopez is also a nine-time Pan American championships titlist, winner of five world championship titles, as well as being gold medalist at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

Along with Lopez’ bid for a fourth gold medal on the second day of the wrestling competition, five wrestlers in freestyle and three in women’s wrestling will seek their second gold medals at these continental Games.

The United States will try to double up on the final day of wrestling competition as 2011 gold medalists Jordan BURROUGHS (74kg) and Jake HERBERT (86kg) all hoping to repeat their success of four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico.

World bronze medalist Livan LOPEZ AZCUY (CUB), who won the gold medal at 66kg in Guadalajara, will have to unseat Burroughs at 74kg if he wants to make it two in a row.

Meanwhile, Franklin GOMEZ (PUR), world silver medalist and Pan Am Games champion at 60kg in 2011, is entered at 65kg and will likely have to face Brent METCALF (USA), currently ranked No.5 in the world, if he is to repeat as a Pan Am Games champ.

In the women’s events, two-time Olympic Games bronze medalist Jackeline RENTERIA CASTILLO (COL) seeks her first gold medal in the Pan Am Games since winning at 55kg in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

Renteria is entered at 63kg for Toronto and could face defending champion Katerina VIDIAUX (CUB) for the gold medal, while Lisset HECHEVARRIA (CUB) must overcome a crowded field at 75kg to repeat.


Cuba has been the dominant force in the classic style over the last eight Pan Am Games and has amassed 57 gold medals overall – more than double the 27 gold medals won by the U.S. since Greco-Roman was first contested in 1975.

Cuba won six of the seven gold medals on offer in Guadalajara and swept all seven categories at Santo Domingo (DOM) 2003. The last time Cuba did not win a majority of the gold medals was in San Juan in 1979, when Cuba and the U.S. each won four with Canada grabbing the remaining two.

In addition to super heavyweight Lopez, Cuba sends three-time Pan American champion Ismael BORRERO (59kg) along with 2015 Pan Am winners Miguel MARTINEZ (66kg) and Julio BASTIDA (74kg) to Toronto.

The U.S. has been Cuba’s main challenger in the Americas the last 40 years and comes to Toronto with world bronze medalist Andy BISEK (75kg), April’s Pan Am winner Robert SMITH (130kg) and 2014 Pan Am champ Jon ANDERSON (85kg).

Spenser MANGO (59kg) and Borrero both finished in fifth place at the 2014 world championships and could be headed for a showdown in the featherweight final. Jansel RAMIREZ (DOM), 2010 Pan Am champ, will challenge for a place on the podium.

The Dominican Republic, which won a total of six medals in 2011, sends only three wrestlers, including Ramirez. Notably absent is Guadalajara bronze medalist and Pan Am runner-up Ramon Antonio GARCIA (130kg), but freestyle entry Josue ENCARNACION (125kg) also has Greco-Roman experience.

Women’s Wrestling

Women’s Wrestling was first contested at Santo Domingo 2003 and over the first three meetings, action was only contested in the four previous Olympic weight categories – 48, 55, 63 and 72kg.  Action in Mississagua will be held, for the first time, in six weight categories.

The United States ran away with all four gold medals in 2003 and leads the overall medal standings for women with seven, followed by Canada and Cuba with two each.

Canada’s two gold medals were won by Beijing 2008 gold medalist Carol HUYNH (48kg) in 2003 and 2007. Genevieve MORRISON (CAN), winner of the Pan Am title in April, will try to keep the flyweight crown in Canada.

Angelica BUSTOS BONE (ECU), the 2014 Pan Am champ, 2013 world bronze medalist Alyssa LAMPE (USA) and 2011 bronze medal winner Carolina CASTILLO HIDALGO (COL) lead a pack of wrestlers trying to take the 48kg title south of the Canadian border.

Along with Morrison, Pan Am champ Justine DISTACIO (75kg), 2014 Pan Am champion Michell FAZZARI (58kg) and two-time junior world champ Dorothy YEATS (69kg) will also be prospecting for gold.

World champ Adeline GRAY (USA), No.1 in the current world rankings, will face a crowded field at 75kg which includes world silver medalist Aline FERREIRA (BRA), 2011 Pan Am gold medalist Hechevarria and Andrea OLAYA GUTIERREZ (COL), a bronze medal winner at the Pan Am championships in April.

Along with Renteria and Vidiaux at 63kg, other favorites in the women’s events include Pan Am champs Sayury CANON (COL) at 53kg, Joice SILVA (BRA) at 58kg and Yudaris SANCHEZ (CUB) at 69kg.


In the first two Pan American Games in 1951 and 1955, Argentina and the U.S. split the gold medals, 4-4, in both years. But, U.S. wrestlers swept the gold medals the next three meetings and never looked back.

The U.S. leads the freestyle medal standings with 91 gold medals followed by Cuba with 30. Argentina is in third place with its eight gold medals from 60 years ago.

But in 2011, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico picked up their first Pan American Games gold medalists with Juan RAMIREZ BELTRE (DOM) at 55kg and Franklin GOMEZ (PUR) at 60kg.

With four of the seven 2011 gold medalists returning, the early favorites in 2015 have already emerged with Gomez and Metcalf the go-to guys at 65kg, Azcuy and Burroughs at 74kg -- where Burroughs owns a win over Azcuy in last year’s Pan Am finals.

Meanwhile, world bronze medalist at 61kg Yowlys BONNE (CUB) appears to be on a tear since dropping to 57kg this spring, but John PINEDA (CAN) will try to trip up or, at least, slow down the 2011 bronze medal winner at 60kg.

Two-time world silver medalist Reineris SALAS (CUB) has won four Pan Am championship titles but gets his first chance at the Pan American Games. Herbert, the Games’ defending champion, is also the 2009 world silver medalist.

At 97kg, Javier CORTINA LACERRA (CUB) is the 2014 Pan Am champ as well as a bronze medal winner at the world championships. Former junior world champ Kyle SNYDER (USA) is the new kid on the block after defeating defending Games’ champion Jacob VARNER (USA) in the U.S. world team trials.


Tuesday, July 14
16:30–18:15 – Medical exam & Weigh-in: Greco-Roman 59-66-75-85kg

Wednesday, July 15
14:30–17:30 – Qualification & Repechage Rounds: Greco-Roman 59-66-75-85kg
16:30–18:15 – Medical exam & Weigh-in: Greco-Roman 98-130kg; Women 48-53-58kg
20:00–22:30 – Finals & Award Ceremonies: Greco-Roman 59-66-75-85kg

Thursday, July 16
14:30–17:30 – Qualification & Repechage Rounds: Greco-Roman 98-130kg; Women 48-53-58kg
16:30–18:15 – Medical exam & Weigh-in:  Women 63-69-75kg; Freestyle 57-65kg
20:00–23:00 – Finals & Award Ceremonies: Greco-Roman 98-130kg; Women 48-53-58kg

Friday, July 17
14:30–17:30 – Qualification & Repechage Rounds: Women 63-69-75kg; Freestyle 57-65kg
16:30–18:15 – Medical exam & Weigh-in: Freestyle 74-86-97-125kg
20:00–23:00 – Finals & Award Ceremonies: Women 63-69-75kg; Freestyle 57-65kg

Saturday, July 18
14:30–17:30 – Qualification & Repechage Rounds: Freestyle 74-86-97-125kg
20:00–22:30 – Finals & Award Ceremonies: Freestyle 74-86-97-125kg

Toronto, Canada, Pan Am Games

Burroughs Repeats, Rey Doubles Up on 2015 Titles in Pan Am Games

By William May

TORONTO, Canada (July 18) – Defending champion Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) repeated as Pan American Games gold medalist on Saturday as the United States rolled to three gold medals and a silver on the final day of wrestling competition at the Toronto 2015 Games.

World and Olympic Games champion Burroughs cruised to three wins by technical fall, including a 13-3 triumph in the quarterfinals over Livan LOPEZ (CUB), for his second Pan American Games gold medal after winning at the Guadalajara 2011 Games.

In the 74kg final, Burroughs softened up South American Games champion Yoan BLANCO (ECU) with a series of force-outs in the first period, then wrapped up the technical fall with a single-leg attack and a pair of cross-ankle turns.

Lopez, the gold medalist at 66kg in Guadalajara, rebounded for a bronze medal after his loss to Burroughs.

Meanwhile, three-time Pan American championships winner Zach REY (USA) won his first Pan American Games crown to double up on the continental titles this year. Rey defeated Korey JARVIS (CAN), 3-0, in the 125kg final.

Former junior world champ Kyle SNYDER (USA) made a big splash with his third technical fall of the day, 10-0, over Arjun GILL (CAN) in the 97kg final for his first major senior title.

Jake HERBERT (USA), the Games’ defending middleweight champion, came out on the short end of a wide-open final at 86kg, falling 12-7 to world silver medalist Reineris SALAS (CUB) and his wicked double-leg attack.

With three gold medals on the final day of wrestling, the United States completed the freestyle competition with four of the six gold medals on offer along with a pair of silver medals for 58 points.

Cuba, meanwhile, grabbed the other two gold medals as well as a silver and two more bronze medals, to finish second in freestyle with 49 points. Canada was even more distant in third place with 40 points.

GOLD: Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) df. Yoan BLANCO (ECU) by TF, 11-0 
BRONZE: Cristian SARCO (VEN) df. Johnathan SCOTT (CRC) by Fall 
BRONZE: Livan LOPEZ (CUB) df. Jevon BALFOUR (CAN) by TF, 10-0

GOLD: Reineris SALAS (CUB) df. Jake HERBERT (USA), 12-7
BRONZE: Tamerlan TIGZIEV (CAN) df. Pool AMBROCIO (PER), 5-0
BRONZE: Jaime ESPINAL (PUR) df. Ricardo BAEZ (ARG) by TF, 12-0

GOLD: Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Arjun GILL (CAN) by TF, 10-0
BRONZE: Jose DIAZ (VEN) df. Yuri MAIER (ARG), 9-0 
BRONZE: Jesse RUIZ (MEX) df. Marcos SANTOS (PUR), 4-1

GOLD: Zach REY (USA) df. Korey JARVIS (CAN), 3-0
BRONZE: Edgardo LOPEZ (PUR) df. Hugo DE OLIVEIRA (BRA), 8-0
BRONZE: Andres RAMOS (CUB) df. Rene SILVA (NCA) by TF, 10-0

Jake HERBERT (USA), champion en titre de la catégorie de poids moyens, s’est incliné en finale à 86 kg face au médaillé d’argent au niveau mondial Reineris SALAS (CUB).

Avec trois médailles d’or remportées lors du dernier jour de compétition, les Etats Unis terminent la compétition de lutte libre avec quatre des six médailles d’or disponibles, ainsi que deux médailles d’argent pour un total de 58 points.

Cuba a remporté les deux autres médailles d’or, une médaille d’argent et deux médailles de bronze et termine second avec 49 points. Le Canada est loin derrière avec 40 points.

Lutte libre
OR: Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) df. Yoan BLANCO (ECU) par SP, 11-0 
BRONZE: Cristian SARCO (VEN) df. Johnathan SCOTT (CRC) par tombé 
BRONZE: Livan LOPEZ (CUB) df. Jevon BALFOUR (CAN) par SP, 10-0

OR: Reineris SALAS (CUB) df. Jake HERBERT (USA), 12-7
BRONZE: Tamerlan TIGZIEV (CAN) df. Pool AMBROCIO (PER), 5-0
BRONZE: Jaime ESPINAL (PUR) df. Ricardo BAEZ (ARG) par SP, 12-0

OR: Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Arjun GILL (CAN) par SP, 10-0
BRONZE: Jose DIAZ (VEN) df. Yuri MAIER (ARG), 9-0 
BRONZE: Jesse RUIZ (MEX) df. Marcos SANTOS (PUR), 4-1

OR: Zach REY (USA) df. Korey JARVIS (CAN), 3-0
BRONZE: Edgardo LOPEZ (PUR) df. Hugo DE OLIVEIRA (BRA), 8-0
BRONZE: Andres RAMOS (CUB) df. Rene SILVA (NCA) par SP, 10-0