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Gold in Wrestling at TO2015

July 16, 2015

(Toronto, ON) – On day two of wrestling at the 2015 Pan Am Games, Canada was well represented with five wrestlers representing Canada in competition and ended with the national anthem playing.

With Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling featured, Canadians anxiously waited for the 2:30 PM start of preliminaries and anticipated Canadian weight entries in the evening finals.

Women’s Freestyle 48KG Geneviève Morrison of Campbell’s Bay QC met 2013 World Bronze Medallist Alyssa Lampe of the United States. Morrison lost the first two points but then rebounded to get a quick eight points to lead in the bout. At the half-way point, the American had made up ground with four points. In the second half, the Cambell’s Bay wrestler scored another four points to lead by 12. Despite the American’s attempts to re-gain ground, Morrison won the bout 12 – 8.

In the semi-final, Morrison met Yusneylys Guzman of Cuba. Morrison scored the first points to the cheers of Canadian family, friends and supporters. Morrison looked strong as she finished the first half of the bout with the only six points, and the kept the lead securing her a spot in the gold-medal final.

In the Gold-final, Morrison met Thalia Mallqui of Peru, the bronze medalist from the 2014 and 2015 Pan Am Wrestling Championships. Morrison was strong from the start posting the first points and quickly growing to four points. Morrison was intense and calculating. The score was 4-2 for Morrison at the half. In the second half, Morrison was careful and ready to pounce. With the score up 5-2, Mallqui got the advantage and closed the gap, but Morrison held her off using her strength until the buzzer and won the bout 5-4. She had done it, she had won the gold.

Following the bout, Morrison talked of her strategy and the help the home-country crowd offered.

“To be honest, I was trying to keep the aggression on but she was really good at holding good body position so I was just trying to wrestle a disciplined match. I would have liked to create more offense. It was way too close for comfort for me, but sometimes you just have to get it done,” said Morrison. “It was awesome to have a crowd like this; they helped me hold it off in those last few seconds.”

In Greco-Roman 130KG action, Charles Thoms of Fredericton, NB fought 2012 Olympian Andrés Ayub of Chile. Ayub won the match 10-2, but because the Chilean wrestler went on to win his next bout, Thoms advanced to the bronze medal final.

In a bronze medal final, Thoms met Josue Encarnacion of the Dominican Republic, but it wasn’t to be, the bout went to Encarnacion with a score of 2-0. After the bout, Thoms acknowledged that the Dominican Republic wrestler was a strong opponent and his thoughts during the bout.

“The plan was to try to score early and score often,” said Thoms. “A tough match is what I expected. Hats off to him, he won.”

Additional Canadian wrestlers included London, ON native Brianne Barry who wrestled Yamilka Del Valle of Cuba in a women’s 53KG quarter-final bout. After a technical delay, and although Barry had the support of the crowd, she lost to Del Valle of Cuba 1-10.

Michelle Fazzari (58KG) met Sandra Roa of Columbia in her opening bout. Fazzari took an early lead and looked dominant as the half ended with Fazarri ahead 5-1. Fazzari looked strong and confident as the second half started, but the Columbian managed to gain points by mid-way through the half, and then moved ahead with 6 points, and ended with 8 points to win the match 8-5.

Greco-Roman wrestler Jeremy Latour (98KG) of Guelph Ontario wrestled Davi Albino of Brazil. Albino was the silver medalist at the recent 2015 Pan Am Wrestling Championships in Chile. Latour managed to gain a point but lost the match 10-1.

Coming up on July 17, 2016 from Mississauga, the following disciplines, categories and Canadian wrestlers will be going for medals:

Women’s Freestyle 63KG: Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos, (Pickering, ON)
Women’s Freestyle 69KG: Dorothy Yeats (Montreal, QC)
Women’s Freestyle 75KG: Justina Di Stasio (Coquitlam, BC)
Men’s Freestyle 65KG: Haislan Garcia, (Surrey, BC)
Men’s Freestyle 57KG entry John Pineda did not make weight.

For broadcasting options please visit: http://panam.cbc.ca/online-listing/sports/day=2015-07-17/index.html For complete results visit: http://results.toronto2015.org/