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2011 Pan American Games Men's Freestyle Preview



Teams seeking top honors in freestyle are the United States and Cuba. Team USA brings six athletes, including World champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and World medalists Jake Herbert at 84 kg, Jake Varner at 96 kg and Tervel Dlagnev at 120 kg. Cuba has three World medalists on its roster, Frank Chamizo at 55 kg, Livan Lopez at 66 kg and Michel Batista at 96 kg.

Puerto Rico is led by 2011 World silver medalist Franklin Gomez at 60 kg, an NCAA champ at Michigan State. Canada has an NCAA champ as well, Matt Gentry of Stanford at 74 kg. Canada also has Khetag Pliev at 96 kg, who went to high school in Ohio and was a Junior champion in the USA. Mexico has two wrestlers who competed in American colleges. There should be some balance among the other nations behind the USA and Cuba, with the possibilities of medals being spread around among many of them.

55 kg/121 lbs. preview

There is one past World medalist in this field, the amazing young Frank Chamizo of Cuba, who won a 2010 World bronze medal at the age of 18. He is now 19, and did not medal at this year’s Senior Worlds. Team USA has had a late replacement, with 2010 World Team member Obe Blanc added to the team due to the injury of 2011 World Team member Nick Simmons. Blanc was second in the 2009 and 2010 Pan American Championships. At 26, Blanc is one of just two athletes over the age of 23, making this a tremendously young group. Others who have won Senior Pan Am medals include Luis Orantes of Guatemala and Fernando Paredes of Venezuela.

55 kg/121 lbs. entries and achievements

Canadá - Steven Takahashi – Tenth in 2011 Junior World Championships… Second in 2019 Junior Pan Am Champs… 2010 Junior Commonwealth Champs champion… 2008 Pan Am Cadet champion… Age: 19

Chile - Andre Renato Quispe – 13th in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Eighth in 2010 Junior Pan Am Champs… Third in 2005 Cadet Pan Am Champs… Age: 21

Cuba - Frank Chamizo – Third in 2010 World Championships… 2011 World Cup champion… 2010 Pan Am Champs champion… Age: 19

Dominican Republic - Juan Rubelin Ramirez Beltre – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2007 Cadet Pan Am champion… Age: 21

Ecuador - Juan Carlos Valverde – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2005 Cadet Pan Am Champs… 2004 Cadet Pan Am champion… Age: 23

Guatemala - Luis Orantes – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Age: 22

México - Alan Cristobal Olvera – Fifth in 2010 Pan Am Champs… 2009 Junior Pan Am champion… Age: 22

United States – Obe Blanc – Ninth in 2011 World Championships… Second in 2009 and 2010 Pan Am Champs… 2010 U.S. Open champion… Age: 26

Venezuela - Fernando Paredes – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Age: 27

Past Pan American Games medals – None

60 kg/132 lbs. preview

The favorite coming in is 2011 World silver medalist Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, who also captured the 2011 Pan American Championships title. Gomez was an NCAA champion at Michigan State and competed for a short time in the U.S. program before declaring for Puerto Rico two seasons ago. His top challenger could be Cuba’s Yowlys Bonne, a 2005 Pan American Championships titlist who has not been Cuba’s top athlete in recent seasons. This weight class features other athletes who have won Pan American Championships medals including Fernando Iglesias of Argentina, Nelson Garcia of Colombia, Gabriel Garcia of the Dominican Republic, Luis Portillo of El Salvador and Guillermo Torres of Mexico. The USA is not entered in this weight class, as it did not qualify through the 2011 Pan Am Championships event.

60 kg/132 lbs. entries and achievements

Argentina - Fernando Iglesias – Fifth in 2005 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Seventh in 2009 and 2010 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2004 Pan Am Champs… 2003 Cadet Pan Am champion… Age: 24

Canadá - Ryley Walker – Second in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Seventh in 2008 University World Championships… Competed in 2005 Junior World Championships… Age: 26

Colombia - Nelson Enrique Garcia – Eighth in 2011 Pan Am Champs... Second in 2010 Central American and Carribean Games… Fifth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2006 and 2007 Pan Am Champs… Age: 30

Cuba - Yowlys Bonne – 2005 Pan Am Champs champion… 2002 Junior Pan Am champion in both styles… Age: 27

Dominican Republic - Gabriel Arturo Garcia Sanchez – Third in 2010 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Eighth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Age: 20

El Salvador - Luis Isaias Portillo – Tenth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Seventh in 2010 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Third in 2008 Pan Am Champs… Eighth in 2007 Pan Am Games… 2005 and 2007 Junior Pan Am champion… 2005 Cadet Pan Am champion… Age: 23

México - Guillermo Torres – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Fifth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2008 Pan Am Champs… Age: 25

Puerto Rico - Franklin Gomez – Second in 2011 World Championships… 2011 Pan Am Champs champion… Third in 2011 Dave Schultz Memorial… NCAA Div. I champion for Michigan State… 05/08/1986

Venezuela - Wilfredo Henriquez – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Age: 26

Past Pan American Games medals – None

66 kg/145.5 lbs. preview

Cuba’s Livan Lopez won a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships with an impressive performance. He was a 2011 Pan American Championships gold medalist, and was second back in 2006. He will be challenged by 2011 U.S. World Team member Teyon Ware, who placed second to Lopez at the Pan Am Championships this spring. The veteran in the class is 39-year-old Edison Hurtado of Columbia, a two-time Pan American Games silver medalist who is in his fourth Pan Am Games. Another top star is Canada’s Haislan Garcia who was fifth in the 2010 World Championships and has won medals at the Pan Am Championships the last four years. Puerto Rico’s Pedro Soto won a 2007 Pan Am Games bronze. Elvis Fuentes of Venezuela was third in the 2011 Pan Am Championships.

66 kg/145.5 lbs. entries and achievements

Argentina - Fernando Carranza – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2009 and 2010 Junior Pan Am Champs… 2008 Cadet Pan Am Champs champion… Age: 19

Canadá - Haislan Garcia Veranes – Third in 2010 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Fifth in 2010 World Championships… Second in 2008 and 2009 Pan Am Champs… 2008 Olympian… Age: 28

Colombia - Edison Hurtado – Fifth in 2008 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 1997, 1998 and 2009 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2003 and 2007 Pan Am Games… Second in 2001, 2002 and 2005 Pan Am Champs… Fourth in 1999 Pan Am Games… Age: 39

Cuba - Livan Lopez – Third in 2011 World Championships… 2011 Pan Am Champs champion… Second in 2006 Pan Am Champs… Age: 29

Ecuador - Yoan Blanco – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Age: 31

México - Ghandi Marquez – Fifth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Eighth in 2008 Pan Am Champs… Age: 23

Puerto Rico - Pedro Soto – 11th in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Second in 2010 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2007 Pan Am Games… Fifth in 2007 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2004 Junior Pan Am Champs… 2003 Cadet Pan Am champion… Age: 25

United States – Teyon Ware – 2011 U.S. World Team member… Second in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2011 U.S. Open champion… Two-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma… Age: 28

Venezuela - Elvis Fuentes – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Fifth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2008 Junior Pan Am Champs… Age: 22

Past Pan American Games medals – Hurtado (COL – 2007 – silver, 2003 – silver), Soto (PUR – 2007 bronze)

74 kg/163 lbs. preview

This weight class is headlined by 2011 World champion Jordan Burroughs of the USA, who burst onto the international scene this year after winning two NCAA titles for Nebraska. He is still learning the freestyle game, with room for improvement. Ricardo Roberty of Venezuela placed fifth at the 2011 World Championships, losing a close battle with Burroughs. Both Burroughs and Roberty beat two-time World champ Denis Tsargush of Russia in Istanbul. Cuba brings Yunierki Blanco, the 2011 Pan Am Championships runner-up, to the Pan Am Games. Blanco lost to Nick Marable of the USA in the finals there. He was a 2011 World Cup champion. 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medalist Matt Gentry will also compete. A dual citizen, Gentry was a NCAA champion for Stanford, then chose to wrestle for Canada, and made the 2008 Olympics. The rest of the weight features young hopefuls.

74 kg/163 lbs. entries and achievements

Canadá - Matt Gentry – Fifth in 2006 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2008 Pan Am Champs… 2008 Olympian… Third in 2007 Pan Am Games… 2005 NCAA Div. I champion for Stanford…Fifth in 2006 World University Championships… Age: 29

Colombia - Rosalio Medrano – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Age: 21

Cuba - Yunierki Blanco – Second in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2011 World Cup champion… Second in 2009 World Cup… Age: 24

Ecuador - Jose Gabriel Mercado – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2007 and 2008 Junior Pan Am Champs… Third in 2004 Cadet Pan Am Champs… Age: 22

México - Eduardo Valencia – Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Age: 22

Panamá - Elton Brown – 13th in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2006 and 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Age: 28

Perú - Pool Edinson Ambrocio – 2009 and 2010 Junior Pan Am Champs champion… Fifth in 2010 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2007 Junior Pan Am Champs… Age: 20

United States – Jordan Burroughs – 2011 World Champion… 2011 U.S. Open champion… Tenth in 2008 Junior World Championships… Two-time NCAA champion for Nebraska… Age: 23

Venezuela - Ricardo Roberty – Fifth in 2011 World Championships… Third in 2003, 2005 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Second in 2007 and 2010 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2008 Pan Am Champs… Fifth in 2007 Pan Am Games… Fourth in 2001 Pan Am Champs… Age: 29

Past Pan American Games medals – Gentry (CAN – 2007 bronze)

84 kg/185 lbs. preview

2009 World silver medalist Jake Herbert of the USA enters as the favorite here. He has won two University World medals, and made two U.S. Senior World Teams. Herbert was second in the 2011 U.S. Trials to Olympic champion Cael Sanderson. The 2011 Pan Am Championships champion is Jose Diaz of Venezuela, who was third at the Pan Am Championships the year before. Puerto Rico’s Jaime Espinal has won three career Pan Am Championships medals. He trains with the Nittany Lion WC at Penn State. Others with past Pan Am Championships medals include Adrian Jaoude of Brazil, Jeffrey Adamson of Canada and Humberto Arencibia of Cuba.

84 kg/185 lbs. entries and achievements

Brazil - Adrian Antoine Jaoude – Eighth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Seventh in 2007 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2008 Pan Am Champs… Seventh in 2007 Pan Am Games… Age: 30

Canadá - Jeffrey Adamson – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Sunkist Kids International champion… Ninth in 2008 World University Champs… Seventh in 2005 Junior World Championships… Age: 26

Cuba - Humberto Daniel Arencibia – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs for Colombia… Fifth in 2009 Junior World Championships for Cuba… Age: 21

México - Alejandro Gallardo – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2005 Junior Pan Am Champs… Second in 2003 Cadet Pan Am Champs… Age: 25

Panamá - Roberto Carlos Espinosa – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Age: 29

Puerto Rico – Jaime Espinal - Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Second in 2010 Pan Am Champs… Ninth in 2009 World Championships… Third in 2008 and 2009 Pan Am Champs… Trains with Nittany Lion WC at Penn State… Age: 27

United States – Jake Herbert – Second in 2009 World Championships… Competed in 2010 World Championships… Second in 2010 World Cup… Third in 2006 and 2008 University World Championships… Two-time NCAA champion for Northwestern… Age: 26

Venezuela - Jose Diaz – 2011 Pan Am Champs champion… Third in 2010 Pan Am Champs… Competed in 2009 Junior Worlds… Third in 2007 Junior Pan Ams… Age: 22

Past Pan American Games medals – None

96 kg/211.5 lbs. preview

This weight class features two World bronze medalists, Jake Varner of the USA and Michel Batista of Cuba. Varner won his World bronze medal in 2011 with an impressive effort. He was a 2009 U.S. World Team member and has rapidly improved. Batista is a veteran, with a 2006 World bronze medal and a fifth place finish at the 2008 Olympics. He was a 2007 Pan Am Games champion, and has won four Pan American Championships gold medals. Luis Vivenes of Venezuela was a 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist, and has won five Pan Am Championships medals. Others in the weight with past Senior Pan Am Championships medals are Khetag Pliev of Canada and Israel Silva of Mexico. Pliev, a Ukraine native, went to high school in Ohio and won a U.S. Junior National title. Silva grew up in the USA, went to college at North Idaho and UT-Chattanooga and trains now at the Northwest Training Center at Oregon State.

96 kg/211.5 lbs. entries and achievements

Canadá - Khetag Pliev – Second in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Sixth in 2010 World Championships… Third in 2010 Pan Am Champs… lived in Ohio in high school and won U.S. Junior Nationals… Originally from Ukraine… Age: 27

Colombia - Juan Esteban Martinez – Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Eighth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Age: 20

Cuba - Michel Antonio Batista – 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Pan Am Champs champion… Fifth in 2008 Olympics… 2007 Pan Am Games champion… Third in 2007 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2006 World Championships… Second in 2006 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2006 World Cup… 2002 Junior Pan Am champion… Age: 28

México - Israel Enrique Silva – Third in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2011 Dave Schultz Memorial… Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Competed for North Idaho College and UT-Chattanooga… Age: 28

Puerto Rico - Marcos Santos – Eighth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Fifth in 2010 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2006 Junior Pan Am Champs… Age: 22

United States – Jake Varner – 2011 World bronze medalist… Second in 2010 New York AC International… 2009 U.S. World Team member… Two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State… Age: 25

Venezuela - Luis Vivenes – Third in 2004, 2006 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2007 and 2010 Pan Am Champs… 2010 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Fifth in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 Pan Am Champs… 2008 Olympian… Second in 2007 Pan Am Games… Fourth in 2003 Pan Am Games… Age: 30

Past Pan American Games medals – Batista (CUB – 2007 gold), Vivenez (VEN – 2007 – silver)

120 kg/264.5 lbs. preview

2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev seeks his first Pan Am Games title. He was fifth at the 2011 World Championships, and won a gold at his only Pan Am Championships in 2010. Cuba’s Disney Rodriguez, who was fifth at the 2008 Olympics and fifth at the 2009 World Championships, is another top international competitor. The veteran in the field is 34-year-old Antoine Jaoude of Brazil, a 2003 Pan Am Games silver medalist at 96 kg. Jesse Ruiz of Mexico went to college in the U.S., winning an NAIA title for Menlo College. A young athlete to watch is Puerto Rico’s Edgardo Lopez, who competes in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

120 kg/264.5 lbs. entries and achievements

Brazil - Antoine Jaoude – Third in 2005, 2006 and 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2008 and 2001 Pan Am Champs… Fifth in 2007 Pan Am Games… 2004 Olympian… Second in 2003 Pan Am Games… Age: 34

Cuba - Disney Rodriguez – Fifth in 2009 World Championships… Fifth in 2008 Olympic Games… Third in 2006 Pan Am Champs… 2006 Central American & Carribean Games champion… Age: 26

Dominican Republic - Carlos Jose Feliz Garcia – Third in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Fifth in 2009 Pan Am Champs… Third in 2007 Pan Am Games… Age: 31

Ecuador - Carlos Julio Delgado – Eighth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Age: 26

México - Jesse Prudente Ruiz – Seventh in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2010 Central American & Carribean Games… Competed for Santa Ana College, Oklahoma State and Menlo College… NAIA champion for Menlo… Age: 26

Puerto Rico - Edgardo Lopez – Third in 2011 Junior Pan Am Champs in both styles… Fifth in 2011 Pan Am Champs… Second in 2007 and 2008 Cadet Pan Ams… Also competing in Greco-Roman at Pan Am Games… Age: 20

United States – Tervel Dlagnev – Third in 2009 World Championships… Fifth in 2011 World Championships… 2010 Pan Am Champs champion… 2008 University World champion… Two-time NCAA Div. II champion for Nebraska-Kearney… Age: 25

Past Pan American Games medals – Feliz (DOM, 2007 bronze), Jaoude (BRA, 2003 silver)
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