WATCH LIVE: 2023 Pan-American Games, Day Three

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.

Everything you need to know:
Watch Friday’s action: Women’s wrestling 53kg, 62kg and 76kg // Greco-Roman: 60kg and 77kg
2023 Pan-American Games brackets
- Upcoming bout order


Torreblanca, Valdes repeat as Pan-Am Games champs

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 - 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

Women’s Wrestling

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