Torreblanca, Valdes repeat as Pan-Am Games champs
Thursday, November 2, 2023 - 22:21 By Eric Olanowski
(Photo credit: Ramon Monroy Panam Sports via Xpress Media)
SANTIAGO, Chile (November 2) --- Yurieski TORREBLANCA (CUB) and Alejandro VALDÉS (CUB) repeated as Pan-American Games champions after grabbing golds on Thursday night at the Chilean Olympic Center.
Valdes dominated his three opponents, picking up 10-0 wins over Joseph SILVA (PUR) and Albaro RUDECINDO (DOM) before pinning Nahshon GARRETT (USA) in the gold medal bout.
Valdes now has a pair of Pan-American Games gold medals to go along with his three Pan-American Championship titles.
Fellow Cuban Torreblanca was nearly flawless in his quest to repeat as Pan-Am Games champion, scoring four wins on Thursday—three coming via shutouts. Torreblanca blanked Carlos IZQUIERDO (COL), Rashji MACKEY (BAH) and Pedro CEBALLOS (VEN) (8-0, 10-0 and 4-0, respectively) to reach the 86kg finals.
In the championship bout, Torreblanca controlled the six-minute finals bout against Mark HALL (USA), effectively shutting down the American’s offense. The Cuban stopped Hall’s only real shot attempt of the bout, picking up a counter-offensive takedown. After giving up a reversal to end the first, Torreblanca tacked on an additional step-out point and cruised to the 3-1 win.
Meanwhile, in women's wrestling, Yusneylis GUZMÁN (CUB) became the first Cuban woman to win Pan-American Games gold since Lisset HECHEVARRIA (CUB) and Katherine VIDIAUX (CUB) claimed titles at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Guzman defeated Erin GOLSTON (USA) and Jacquline MOLLOCANA (ECU) to end Cuba’s 12-year Pan-Am Games gold drought. She defeated Golston, 10-0, then beat Mollocana, 5-1, cementing a spot in her nation’s wrestling history books.
In the bout of the night, Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) narrowly edged Hannah TAYLOR (CAN) to win the 57kg gold. She hit two inside trips to score her six points—a two-point trip in the first and a four-point trip in the second—to win her third competition of the season. Rodrigues also won gold medals this season at the Poland Open and Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial.
Rodrigues joins Joice SILVA (BRA) as the only woman from Brazil to win a Pan-American Games gold medal.
The final gold of the night in women’s wrestling went to Forrest MOLINARI (USA), who defeated Soleymi CARABALLO (VEN), 3-2, in the 68kg finals. Molinari surrendered a high-level single-leg takedown in the first period but scored three unanswered points to win her first Pan-Am Games title.
Friday's opening round matches begin at 10:00 (local time), with the bronze and gold-medal bouts beginning at 17:00.
GOLD - Alejandro VALDÉS (CUB) df. Nahshon GARRETT (USA), via fall
BRONZE - Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) df. Sixto AUCCAPIÑA (PER), 7-1
BRONZE - Joseph SILVA (PUR) df. Albaro RUDECINDO (DOM), 6-5
GOLD - Yurieski TORREBLANCA (CUB) df. Mark HALL (USA), 3-1
BRONZE - Hunter LEE (CAN) df. Ethan RAMOS (PUR), 14-4
BRONZE - Pedro CEBALLOS (VEN) df. Carlos IZQUIERDO (COL), 7-6
GOLD - Yusneylis GUZMÁN (CUB) df. Jacquline MOLLOCANA (ECU), 5-1
BRONZE - Mariana ROJAS (VEN) df. Erin GOLSTON (USA), 3-0
GOLD - Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) df. Hannah TAYLOR (CAN), 6-6
BRONZE - Angela ALVAREZ (CUB) df. Xochitl MOTA-PETTIS (USA), 10-0
BRONZE - Luisa VALVERDE (ECU) df. Betzabeth SARCO (VEN), via fall
GOLD - Forrest MOLINARI (USA) df. Soleymi CARABALLO (VEN), 3-2
BRONZE - Nicoll PARRADO (COL) df. Virginia JIMÉNEZ (CHI), 6-0
BRONZE - Olivia DI BACCO (CAN) df. Ambar GARNICA (MEX), 8-6