Canada wins seven medals at Cadet Pan-American Championships
BUENOS AIRES – It was another great weekend for Canadian wrestlers on the international stage as they won seven medals at the 2022 (U17) Pan-American (Pan-Am) Championships, June 24-26, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The medal count included one gold, two silver and four bronze. The competition was highlighted by Abbotsford, British Columbia’s Rupinder Johal who was dominant in the women’s 73kg weight class, capping it off with the gold medal.
“Winning gold made me feel very proud for myself, my parents, my coaches, my teammates and my country,” said Johal. “This was my first international tournament of, hopefully, many more. Wearing the maple leaf and stepping on the mat knowing I’m representing Canada gave me the feeling of being a Canadian athlete and making my country proud. I’m very happy on how I performed with space for more training and ways to get better. I hope to represent Canada in the future and win more medals for my country.”
Johal, who trains out of Guru Gobind Singh Wrestling Club, won her two round robin matches by fall and points (12-4). She picked up another victory by fall in the semifinal before defeating Edna Jimenez Villalba of Mexico by superiority for the gold.
Kaura Coles, from Winnipeg and WAMMA, earned a silver in the women’s 49kg weight class. She had a strong showing earning quarterfinal and semifinal victories by points and superiority. In the final, she faced American Ava Ward, who defeated Coles for the gold.
The final medal on the women’s side came from Port Moody, B.C.’s Ella Finding. Finding, from Coast Wrestling Academy, won her 57kg quarterfinal match, but fell in the semis to the eventual silver medalist, Skyler Little Soldier (USA). Finding put on a great performance in the bronze medal match defeating Fatima Figueroa Alverez (GUA) 11-0.
Other women’s results included Regina’s Julia Petryna (Advanced Wrestling Academy) fifth at 53kg, Burnaby, B.C.’s Marley Jackson (Coast Wrestling Academy) fifth at 61kg, and Calgary’s Paige Veloso (The ROC WC) fifth at 65kg.
As for the men, the top result went to Marieville QC’s Nathan Rainville. Rainville, from Patriotes de St-Césare WC, did not give up a point in his 65kg qualification, quarterfinal or semifinal match. Those wins earned him a shot at gold versus Joel Adams of the US. However, Adams would defeat Rainville who settled for the silver.
Amherstview, ON’s Luke Coffin earned a bronze at 110kg. The Kingston WC product went 2-0 in his round robin before losing his only match in the semifinal. Still, he regrouped and won the bronze by superiority 13-0 over Ibrack Angulo Castillo of Ecuador.
Anther bronze went to Abbotsford’s Tejvir Dhinsa at 71kg. Dhinsa, from Guru Gobind Singh WC, lost his quarterfinal match to the eventual gold medalist, Dario Cubas Castillo of Peru, so he got a shot at bronze against Kevin Jaramillo Bernal of Mexico. Dhinsa made the most of the opportunity winning by superiority 10-0.
Finally, Embro ON’s Wesley Hunter rounded out the medalists. Heather, who trains at Woodstock WC, placed third in the round robin competition at 45kg.
The other men’s results were: Surrey, B.C.’s Harkirat Dhillon (Canadian Mal WC) fourth at 48kg, Vancouver’s Micah Calapiz (Bhullar WC) fourth at 51kg, Abbotsford’s Jagroop Dhinsa (Guru Gobind Singh WC) fourth at 92kg, Surrey’s Quentin Mensah (Coast Wrestling Academy) seventh at 55kg, and Calgary’s Youseff Elshayeb (The ROC WC) seventh at 60kg.
For complete tournament information, visit the tournament website at: https://uww.org/event/pan-american-championships-13.