Wrestling Adds to Medal Count at TO2015
Toronto, ON – With the afternoon sessions completed on the final day of wrestling at the 2015 Pan Am Games, Canadian wrestlers were poised to once again take their share of medals in Mississauga, and the team delivered.
Korey Jarvis of Elliot Lake looked strong having won both his quarter-final bout against Edgardo Lopez of Puerto Rico and semi-final bout against Hugo De Oliveira by technical superiority (10-0). Now into the gold medal final, he would face Zach Rey of the United States. With the crowd chanting CANADA over and over, the two wrestlers were defensive working to ensure no points were earned by their opponents. In the end it was Rey who posted the only three awarded points of the bout.
Jarvis was disappointed with the silver outcome but spoke of his expectations.
“I have wrestled him a few times in the past and the bouts were always close,” said Jarvis. “Today he won.”
In men’s freestyle 97KG, Arjun Gill was heading to the gold medal final after beating Jesse Ruiz of Mexico 10-0 and Marcos Santos of Puerto Rico in his semi-final match 6-1. Following the semi-final match Gill spoke of his thoughts leading into the final.
“I am proud to wrestle for Canada and tonight is going to be a hard battle,” said the Surrey, BC native.
In his final, Gill also met an American; Kyle Snyder of the United States. But on this day, Gill was not to have the gold and would have to settle for the silver.
The two other Canadians, Tamerlan Tagziev (86KG) and Jevon Balfour (74KG) had lost a bout in the preliminaries and were to fight for bronze.
In his bronze final, Tagziev met Pool Ambrocio of Peru. With a defensive performance, Tagziev kept the Peruvian wrestler at zero points and managed to reach 5 points of his own and win bronze. In the mix zone, Tagziev spoke of his love of Canada and the crowd’s support.
“I wasn’t going to let him win a point, I wanted the bronze,” said Tagziev wet with sweat from his efforts. “Not in front of this crowd, not in my home.”
Successful until Balfour’s semi-final bout, the draw put Balfour against the 2012 Olympic Games Gold Medallist Jordan Burroughs who won 11-0. Balfour used the pairing as a way to gain experience.
“Well the last match didn’t go as I wanted to but even if I lost I wanted to be a little bit better. But the guy is a multiple world medallist, Olympic champion… so I don’t feel too bad,” said the Brampton wrestler. “Obviously I feel bad because I hate losing with all my heart but that happens right, to make you better.”
In the bronze 74KG final, Balfour wrestled Livan Lopez of Cuba, but the experience of the Cuban wrestler took over and the bout ended 10-0.
In total, Canadian wrestlers achieved success at the 2015 Pan Am Games with three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals.