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Moore and Dhesi qualify for 2024 Paris Olympics

March 02, 2024

ACAPULCO, MEXICO – The final day of the Pan-American (Pan-Am) Olympic Qualifiers wrapped up on March 1, with the men’s freestyle event. Canada once again had six athletes vying for qualification and in the end Montreal’s Alex Moore and Surrey, B.C.’s Amar Dhesi joined the three women who qualified the day before.

Alex Moore

Moore, from the Montreal National Training Centre, opened the tournament against Jorge Llano (ARG) in a quarter final match up. Moore dispatched of Llano by superiority 11-0 to move on to the semi final. That match saw him take on Pedro Ceballos Fuentes (VEN) with the winner advancing to the Games.

In the semi final match, it was a tight contest with Moore taking the lead thanks to a pair of passivity points. In the final minute of the match, Moore scored a takedown and converted into a pin to win the match and earn his spot in Paris.

“This is unbelievable. I have been through so much to get to this point,” said Moore. “Four years ago, I tore my ACL. Then, I needed shoulder surgery a week before my wrestle-off. Even this year, I broke my hand and was in a cast for four weeks. That is just the tip of the iceberg. To overcome everything and be here, it feels amazing. I always thought that I would make the Olympics, but to face all the adversity I have, to stick with it and now I’m going to the Olympics, I’m an Olympian! It is the greatest feeling in the world.”

Amar Dhesi

The other Canadian to clinch a spot in Paris was Amar Dhesi. Dhesi, who trains out of Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, was Canada’s lone returning Olympian from the 2021 Games in Tokyo. He started the competition with a qualification round match against Aaron Johnson (JAM). Dhesi made quick work of Johnson, winning 11-0. That moved Dhesi on to face Jose Dias Robertti (VEN) in the quarter final. Dhesi again won by superiority, this time by a score of 13-2.

With that, Dhesi advanced to the semi final where a win over Ibrain Torres Espinosa (CUB) would earn him his second Olympic appearance. Dhesi put on a great performance in the match, earning the win by superiority 11-0 to punch his ticket to Paris.

“It feels great to qualify for my second Games. I want to give a special thanks to my family, friends and especially coaches for getting me here. It may have been short, with just three years since the last Olympics, but it still felt like a long journey to me. Now, I am glad I get to do it again. Let’s go get an Olympic medal!” said Dhesi.

More results

North York, Ontario’s Lachlan McNeil had a good tournament scoring a qualification round win 10-0 over Sixto Miguel Auccapina Pedragas (PER) and then defeating Josua Kramer (VEN) 12-1 in the quarter final. However, in the semi final, he faced Austin Gomez (MEX) who ended McNiel’s run. Gomez took the match 6-3, eliminating McNeil. In other action, Coquitlam, B.C.’s Darthe Capellan lost in his 57kg quarter final match to Oscar Tigreros Urbano (COL), Abbotsford, B.C.’s Nishan Randhawa lost in the 97kg quarter final to Arturo Silot Torres (CUB) and Montreal’s Stone Lewis was defeated in the 74kg qualification round by Sonny Santiago (PUR).

Those that did not qualify will have one more chance at a final World Olympic Qualifier, May 9-12, in Istanbul, Turkiye.

For complete results visit the tournament site: https://uww.org/event/seniors-pan-american-og-qualifier/results.