WATCH LIVE: 2023 Pan-American Games, Day Three
Friday, November 3, 2023 - 12:52 By Eric Olanowski
SANTIAGO, Chile (November 3) --- Paris Olympians Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) and Tatiana RENTERIA (COL) headline the entries for the five weights--WW 53kg, WW 62kg WW 76kg, GR 60kg and GR 77kg--that’ll take the mat on the third day of the Pan-American Games.
Yepez and Renteria are both on a quest to become their nation’s second-ever Pan-Am Games gold medalists.
Yepez, who qualified for the Paris Olympic Games through her bronze-medal finish at the 2023 World Championships, is the unquestionable favorite to win gold at 53kg. This season, Yepez medaled in six consecutive events, including gold medals at the Pan-American Championships, the Egypt Ranking Series event and the Poland Open.
Yepez lucked out with her draw, as she is on the opposite side of the bracket as the three other 2023 Pan-American Championship medalists--Betzabeth ARGUELLO (VEN) and Karla ACOSTA (MEX).
Renteria, a 2023 world bronze medalist and Paris Olympic qualifier, is trying to become the first Colombian woman to win a Pan-Am Games gold medal since 2007. To erase that drought, Renteria must get past Kyle WELKER (USA), a two-time age-group world medalist, in the semifinals. If she gets past Welker, it’ll likely set up a Pan-Ams finals rematch with reigning champion Milaimy MARÍN (CUB).
The final women’s wrestling weight we’ll see on Friday is 62kg.
Without reigning Pan-American champion Karla GODINEZ (CAN), two-time world runner-up Kayla MIRACLE (USA) becomes the targeted favorite. Miracle’s biggest test will come in the semifinals, where she’ll face the winner of 2023 Pan-American finalist Nathaly GRIMAN (VEN) and ten-time Pan-American medalist Lais NUNES (BRA)
On the Greco-Roman side of the competition, fans will see 60kg and 77kg on Friday.
In the 60kg brackets, Pan-Am silver medalist Jeremy PERALTA (ECU) sits comfortably on the top side, opposite Raiber RODRIGUEZ (VEN) and Kevin DE ARMAS (CUB), who were both Pan-American bronze medalists this season.
The biggest storyline to follow at 77kg is the quarterfinal meeting between Kamal BEY (USA) and Yosvanys PEÑA FLORES (CUB). The last time these two met, Bey defeated Pena to win Pan-Am gold.
Wuileixis RIVAS (VEN) and Jair CUERO (COL), who were bronze medalists at this year’s Pan-American Championships, sit on the bottom side of the bracket and could meet in the semifinals if they remain unbeaten.