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Di Stasio leads Canada to six medal night at Pan-Am Championships

March 08, 2020

OTTAWA – Justina Di Stasio captured gold, and five other Canadians medalled on the third day of the Pan-American Championships in Ottawa.

Di Stasio won the 76 kg final due to an injury withdrawal from USA’s Adeline Grey. Di Stasio, of Vancouver, defeated Milaimys de la Caridad Marin Potrille of Cuba in the quarterfinal, and Brazil’s Aline Da Silva Ferreira in the semifinals to qualify for the final.

“I just wrestled to have fun today. It was a completely different environment than what I’ve felt for a while,” said the 27-year-old. “If I could bring this mentality into big matches, I think it would be very helpful for my wrestling.”

Di Stasio was crowned World Champion in 2018 at 72 kg.

“I’ve very much been in my head in the past year-and-a-half of competing and today was the first time I’ve had fun out there in a while.”

Hannah Taylor lost the 57 kg gold medal match to Giullia Rodrigues Penalber De Oliveira of Brazil to claim silver. Taylor, of Cornwall, P.E.I., had lost the Brazilian in her first match of the day, before defeating American Kelsey Campbell and Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo of Ecuador to qualify for a gold medal rematch.

“There were a lot of ups and downs today,” said the 21-year-old Brock Wrestler. “I lost my first match to the eventual winner, and again in the finals. I got a win today against Ecuador who I lost to at the (Lima 2019) Pan Am Games.”

“I need to be more open to wrestling different styles. I feel like I could have been successful wrestling in the finals if I didn’t tie up and worked more from the outside. I typically like to throw upper body, but she was way better at throws than me so I need to be more open with different styles of wrestling.”

Jade Parsons picked up a silver medal after finishing second in the 53 kg round-robin. The 29-year-old from Orillia, Ont., quickly defeated Haley Augello of USA 10-0 in her final match of the day.

“I think I wrestled pretty well,” said Parsons, also of the Brock Wrestling Club. “I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself so I just had a lot of fun with it today. I didn’t wrestle my best off the start, but I tried to pick it up throughout the day. My goal was to have fun and cherish being a part of Team Canada again.”

Guseyn Ruslanzada of Pierrefonds, Que., was the lone male wrestling for Canada. He secured a silver medal in the 79 kg round-robin by picking up a 6-6 win on criteria over Victor Eduardo Hernandez Luna of Mexico.

Two other Brock wrestlers picked up bronze medals on Sunday. Jessica Brouillette and Olivia Di Bacco won their bronze medal matches at 62 kg and 68 kg.

Brouillette, of Barrie, Ont., defeated Nathaly Josefina Griman Herrera of Venezuela with a 5-4 comeback victory to claim bronze.

Di Bacco took down Mexican Ambar Michell Garnica Flores 11-4 in the 68 kg bronze medal match.

Madison Parks of Western Wrestling Club was pulled into the 50 kg repechage after losing her opening round match 4-2 to Carolina Castillo Hidalgo of Colombia, but had to withdraw due to an injury.

The Canadian women’s team finished second in the team rankings. They finished with 141 points, just behind USA’s 152 points.

The Pan-American Championships run from March 6 to 9 at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa. Competition resumes on Sunday with men’s freestyle wrestling.

Canadians in action on Sunday are:
57 kg – Ligrit Sadiku
61 kg – Scott Schiller
65 kg – Vincent De Marinis
70 kg – Cruiz Manning
74 kg – Jasmit Phulka
86 kg – Clayton Pye
97 kg – Nishan Randhawa
125 kg – Amar Dhesi