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Gold medals by Beauregard and Di Bacco headline Canada’s eight-medal performance at Senior Pan-Am Championships

February 25, 2024

ACAPULCO, MEXICO – Canadian wrestlers had a strong performance this week at the Senior Pan-American (Pan-Am) Championships, Feb. 21-24 in Acapulco, Mexico. The Canadian contingent captured eight medals (two gold, four silver, two bronze) including a pair of gold medals in women’s wrestling by St. Catharines, Ontario’s Olivia Di Bacco at 68kg and Montreal’s Laurence Beauregard at 59kg.

Di Bacco was the first to win her gold. She opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over Alexandria Glaude (USA) in the quarterfinal. She continued to be dominant with an 11-0 win over Nicoll Parrado Osorio (COL) in the semifinal. She matched up with Caraballo Solym Antonieta (VEN) in the final, but an injury forced Solym Antonieta to withdraw, awarding Di Bacco the gold.

“It is always an honour to represent Team Canada and anytime I get to stand on a podium and listen to the Canadian anthem is a privilege. I am disappointed I did not get to wrestle my final today but I was really happy to get the chance to compete and to work on some of the things I have been training and see some improvements,” said Di Bacco.

As for Beauregard, she competed on the second day of women’s wrestling in a round robin. Beauregard had a truly dominant performance. She opened with a 10-0 victory over Ana Pereira Franca (BRA), followed by another 10-0 superiority win over Paula Leon Adriano (MEX). She then defeated Micaela Beck (USA) by fall. She sealed the medal with another victory by fall over Jessica N Derrel (BAR).

“Today I had a solid performance. I didn’t give up any points and I tech’d or pinned all my opponents. I felt really prepared. I have been preparing the last couple of months for a lot of things and this was my moment to put things together at the right time and place,” said Beauregard. “I am lucky to have the coaches and teammates that I do to help prepare me. It just goes to show that I belong, and I think that is what it means to me. To win this, it is actually my third time, reinforces the fact that I am an international competitor and belong on this stage.”

Greco-Roman results

The Pan-Ams kicked off with the men’s Greco-Roman competition. The Canadian team had four competitors who were all looking to improve their seeding before next week’s Pan-Am Olympic Qualifiers (Feb. 28 – March 1).

A pair of Canadians narrowly missed out on medals as London, Ontario’s Gavin Eldridge finished fifth at 67kg and Abbotsford, B.C.’s Jorawar Dhinsa was fifth at 130kg. London’s Keeyan Trotman finished ninth at 60kg and Montreal’s John Yeats was 11th at 77kg.

Women’s Results

In addition to the gold medals, Canada also picked up a silver on the women’s side at 62kg thanks to Coquitlam, B.C.’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez. Godinez Gonzalez, who will also compete at the Qualifiers, was hoping to improve her seeding with a strong performance at the Championships. She did just that, defeating one of her top rivals in Lais Nunes (Brazil) in the semifinals. That earned her a gold medal match with Kayla Miracle (USA). Miracle won the match 6-6 on criteria but Godinez Gonzalez earned enough seeding points to avoid being put on the same side of the bracket as Miracle.

Canada’s bronze medals on the women’s side went to Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Katie Mulkay at 72kg and Maple Ridge, B.C.’s Miki Rowbottom at 65kg. Both Mulkay and Rowbottom finished third in their respective round robin tournaments.

The rest of the women’s results were: Saskatoon’s Katie Dutchak fifth at 50kg; Fredericton’s Samantha Stewart fifth at 53kg; Summerside, P.E.I.’s Hannah Taylor fifth at 57kg; and McKellar, Ontario’s Shauna Kuebeck fifth at 76kg. The women’s team finished second overall.

Freestyle Results

The event concluded with the men’s freestyle competition. Canada took home a trio of silver medals thanks to solid performances from Brampton, Ontario’s Tejvir Boal, Vancouver’s Peiman Biabani and Abbotsford’s Jasmit Phulka.

Boal was in a five-man round robin at 92kg and after he dropped his opener to Nathan Jackson (USA), he rolled off three straight wins to capture the silver. Biabani was also in a round robin at 70kg. After winning his two round robin matches, both by superiority, he advanced to the semifinal. He earned another victory by superiority over Victor Rivera (PUR) to earn a spot in the final. Unfortunately, he was forced to withdraw from the final with an injury and settled for silver. As for Phulka, he was in a four-man round robin at 79kg. After losing his opener to Alexander Facundo (USA), he won his next two to finish 2-1 and take home the silver.

Rounding out the men’s freestyle results were: Coquitlam’s Jacob Alexander Torres fifth at 65kg; Komoka, Ontario’s Adam Thomson fifth at 74kg; Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Richard Deschatelets fifth at 125kg and Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia’s Riley Otto seventh at 97kg. The men’s freestyle team finished second overall. Canada finished third overall in the team competition across the three disciplines.

For complete tournament information, visit the tournament websites https://uww.org/event/seniors-pan-american-championships/results.