Lopez Wins Fourth, Silva Gets First Gold for Brazil in Pan Am Games
Friday, July 17, 2015 - 03:56 By William May
TORONTO, Canada (July 16) – Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) won his fourth wrestling gold medal at the Pan American Games on Thursday and Joice SILVA (BRA) improved on her bronze medal from four years ago by bagging Brazil’s first wrestling gold medal in the history of the Games.
For Lopez, who cruised into the 130kg final on two technical falls in the afternoon session, it was business as usual as he rolled up Andres AYUB (CHI) with a pair of takedowns and turns for a third technical fall in the evening and the gold medal.
With the triumph, Lopez joins fellow Greco-Roman greats Hector MILIAN (CUB) and Juan MAREN (CUB) as the only wrestlers, thus far, to achieve the feat at the Pan American Games.
Silva, meanwhile, battled throughout the first day of women’s events at Mississauga Sports Center, coming from behind to win three bouts at 58kg by a margin of four points for the gold medal.
In Thursday evening’s finale, Silva surrendered a four-point takedown to 2013 Pan American championships winner Yakeline ESTORNELL (CUB) early, but battled back to narrow the deficit to 5-4 by the break.
A late takedown that landed out of bounds in the second period knotted the score for Silva and a penalty point made it 6-5 for the jubilant Silva and the Brazilian fans in the arena.
Earlier in the evening, Yasmany LUGO (CUB) cranked Pan American junior champ Kevin MEJIA (HON) over with a windmill throw and pressed for the fall in the 98kg final to claim his first Games crown.
Lugo and Lopez gave Cuba its only gold medals of the Greco-Roman competition after being held to two bronze medals the previous day. The two gold medals lifted Cuba to second in the final Greco-Roman team rankings with 40 points, nine points behind the United States with two gold medals, a silver and two bronze.
Women’s wrestling also got under way with reigning Pan American championships winner Genevieve MORRISON (CAN) racing out to a 4-0 lead, then holding on to a 5-4 victory over Thalia MALLQUI (PER) for the gold medal.
Despite the loss, Mallqui’s silver medal was the best finish yet for Peru in women’s wrestling.
At 53kg, Whitney CONDER (USA) came out on top of a scramble in the first period and with the help of a penalty point in the second period, fashioned a 3-2 win over Alma VALENCIA (MEX). Valencia’s silver medal was the first medal in women’s wrestling at the Games.
Thursday’s Medal Match Results
Greco-Roman - 98kg
GOLD: Yasmany LUGO (CUB) df. Kevin MEJIA (HON) by Fall
BRONZE: Luillys PEREZ (VEN) df. Jose ROCHA (MEX), 4-0
BRONZE: Davi ALBINO (BRA) df. Oscar LOANGO (COL), 5-1
Greco-Roman - 130kg
GOLD: Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) df. Andres AYUB (CHI) by TF, 8-0
BRONZE: Josue ENCARNACION (DOM) df. Charles THOMS (CAN), 2-0
BRONZE: Robby SMITH (USA) df. Moises PEREZ (VEN) by Default
Women’s Wrestling - 48kg
GOLD: Genevieve MORRISON (CAN) df. Thalia MALLQUI (PER), 5-4
BRONZE: Alyssa LAMPE (USA) df. Yusnelis GUZMAN (CUB) by TF, 12-2
BRONZE: Carolina CASTILLO (COL) df. Angelica BUSTOS (ECU), 1-1
Women’s Wrestling - 53kg
GOLD: Whitney CONDER (USA) df. Alma VALENCIA (MEX), 3-2
BRONZE: Yamilka DEL VALLE (CUB) – uncontested
BRONZE: Betzabeth ARGUELLO (VEN) df. Luisa VALVERDE (ECU) by Fall
Women’s Wrestling - 58kg
GOLD: Joice SILVA (BRA) df. Yakelin ESTORNELL (CUB), 6-5
BRONZE: Lissette ANTES (ECU) df. Sandra ROA (COL) by TF, 12-1
BRONZE: Yanet SOVERO (PER) df. Alejandra ROMERO (MEX), 6-6